Apr. 26, 2017
Late Game Pushes Helps Jazz to a Series Lead
Joe Johnson must have drank from the fountain of youth after Game 3. In Game 4, the Clippers looked to take a 3-1 series at the end of the third quarter. Oh but Joe. "Iso-Joe took over the fourth quarter and led the Jazz to a come from behind victory. There was much to say about the return of Rudy Gobert, Gordon Hayward playing only 9 minutes due to food poisoning, and Blake Griffin being injured, but the headlining factor of Game 4 was the retro-like play of Joe Johnson. But it didn't just stop with Game 4. Although the scoring output of Johnson did not equate his team high 28 points from Game 4, it was one clutch shot with 19 seconds to go to put the Jazz up by 5. The Clippers, lead by Chris Paul, did put up a valiant effort to regain the series advantage. There were however many questions concerning coach Doc Rivers decision making in the personnel that was on the floor throughout the game. Paul Pierce is a legend but also a defensive liability. Austin Rivers is a respectable guard in this league but coming off of a hamstring injury he may be a defensive liability as well. Both played significant minutes. Rivers may have to pull out everything in Game 6 but this series has shown us a pattern. If the game is up for grabs late in the fourth quarter and Joe Johnson is in the game for the Jazz, the Clippers don't have an answer.