Los Angeles Clippers aim to instigate the action against the Utah Jazz
Jazz forward Joe Johnson celebrates his game-winning basket at the buzzer against the Clippers.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Jazz forward Joe Johnson lofts the game-winning shot over Clippers center DeAndre Jordan as time runs out in Game 1.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Clippers forward Blake Griffin scores two of his 20 points in the first half against Jazz forward Derrick Favors.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Clippers center DeAndre Jordan loses the ball out of bounds while being defended by Jazz forward Derrick Flavors during the fourth quarter.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Clippers forward Marreese Speights is fouled by Jazz guard Shelvin Mack during the fourth quarter.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Jazz guard tries to steal the ball from Clippers forward Blake Griffin as he power his way to the basket during the fourth quarter.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Clippers guard J.J. Redick attempts a pass between Jazz forwards Derrick Flavors, left, and Boris Diaw during the first quarter.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Jazz forward Joe Johnson scores over Clippers big me DeAndre Jordan, left, and Blake Griffin during the second quarter.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Jazz center Rudy Gobert goes down because of a knee injury in the early minutes of the first quarter.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Clippers point guard Chris Paul and Jazz forward Gordon Hayward collide while chasing a loose ball during the first quarter.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Clippers center DeAndre Jordan (6) battles Jazz forward Gordon Hayward for a rebound during the first quarter.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
If anything, the Clippers have concluded over the last two days, they can’t let the Utah Jazz be the sole instigators of all the action in their first-round playoff series.
“The point is we have to join in,” Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said. “They’re still going to do what they do. They should. That’s who they are. But we didn’t do what we usually do. So when you have two teams who are both trying to instigate action, it’s a better game. It’s a better game for us. I don’t know if we can take it away from them. I think we just have to do it ourselves.”
Undoubtedly, the first provocation wasn’t delivered by the Clippers, who are down 1-0 to the Jazz in the best-of-seven series that resumes Tuesday night at Staples Center.
Rivers knows how his team can initiate things.
“Just hitting first. Engaging first,” he said. “I thought they engaged first in everything. They blew up a lot of our dribble handoffs — a lot of things where we just went to the ball instead of engaging them and getting into it first. It’s simple, but you have to do it.”
Clippers unfazed about Redick
On the surface, the Clippers weren’t overly concerned about Utah’s concentrated effort to ground J.J. Redick.
By keeping defenders close to Redick, the Jazz limited the Clippers’ shooting guard to only six shots; he made three and scored seven points.
Utah’s guards stayed attached as much as possible to Redick and also ran him off the three-point line. Utah’s big men slowed the constantly moving Redick by stepping in front of him and not giving him a direct line to his spots on the court.
“I don’t worry about that, because in the past when teams have paid a lot of attention to J.J., it opens up other things for other guys and we end up scoring,” Rivers said. “I thought we spent too much time trying to get J.J. going, quite honestly. I think J.J. is going to get going. We’re going to get him shots. But when we’re not getting him shots, we should be getting layups and other shots. We didn’t do either one.”
Reserve guard Austin Rivers, who has sat out the Clippers’ last seven games because of a left hamstring injury, will not play in Game 2. Doc Rivers said that his son was “probably out for Game 3 as well.”…Jazz center Rudy Gobert, who suffered a hyperextension and bruise bone in his left knee early in Saturday’s game, won’t play in Game 2.
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