They entered the postseason with identical records

  • The Jazz Clippers matchup was the only playoff series that stretched to the maximum seven games during an otherwise suspense-free first round. That the teams went the distance was hardly surprising. They entered the postseason with identical records and an even split in their regular-season matchups NBA MT Coins. The widest margin of victory in the first six games of the series was 8 points, and the visitors had fallen just twice. Home teams have historically won 80 percent of Game 7s in the N.B.A., but the Clippers had to withstand the loss of a cornerstone player.

     

    Griffin took permanent leave from the postseason after he sustained a toe injury in Game 3. For its part, Utah endured the comings and goings of its dynamic pivotman, Rudy Gobert, who had been shelved with leg and ankle injuries sustained in separate games. Derrick Favors, kept the Jazz from losing ground by delivering three baskets without a miss, five rebounds and two assists through the remainder of the quarter. Two minutes had not expired in the second period before Gobert hacked another Clipper and was removed. On came Favors, who continued apace, padding his statistics by halftime to nearly double-double status.