LOS ANGELES—The Los Angeles Clippers are on the brink of elimination after the Utah Jazz took a 3-2 lead in Game 5 of their dramatic first round Western Conference series, defeating the Clippers 96-92 on Tuesday, April 25 from Staples Center. A loss on Friday night in Salt Lake City would not only end their season; it would blow up the core of the team thus putting an end to a “Clipper Dynasty,” which never was.
The Clippers lost their second game at home this postseason, as the Jazz got 27-points from Gordon Haywood, and clutch shots from vet Joe Johnson, the Clippers have lost two games this series at the Staples Center.
The Clippers cut the lead to 90-88 in the final 3 minutes, Point Guard Chris Paul continues his remarkable Playoffs scoring 28 points, J.J. Redick added 26 points. However, the Clippers depleted front line was unable to grab a crucial board, the Jazz got the loose ball and Joe Johnson nailed a rainbow 3-pointer that proved to be the dagger.
It was reminiscent of his Game 1 buzzer beater, a parabola floater in a 97-95 victory, which has become a hallmark of his 16-year career. Should the Clippers sustain another bitter disappointing May, immediate changes are sure to follow.
Let’s not put the cart before the horse- there is still hope for this season. We already beat them in Utah, when we rallied to capture Game 3, 111-106. In Game 4, we led practically the whole way, before allowing the Jazz to end the game on a 21-5 run. The loss will haunt Chuck the Condor for years.
In 2015, the Clippers trailed 3-2 to the San Antonio Spurs before winning the series in seven games, so we’ve done it before. One step at a time, the Clippers need to bounce back on Friday with a strong supporting cast. CP3 can’t do it alone—the team will need Jamal Crawford, Mo Speights and J.J. Redick to be clutch at Vivant Smart Home Arena.
A victory would set the stage for an epic Game 7 on Sunday, April 30 from Staples Center. Game 6 is on Friday, April 28 at Vivant Smart Home Arena, at 7:30 PM. The game will air on ESPN.