LOS ANGELES—The Los Angeles Clippers staved off elimination by winning Game 6, 98-93 on Friday, April 28 from Vivant Smart Arena in Utah. Chris Paul scored 29 points, the crucial victory sets the stage for a win or go home Game 7 at the Staples Center on Sunday afternoon.
“We do it together,” Paul said. “I came to (Jordan) during one of those timeouts in the fourth and said let’s find a way. We’ve been in these situations time and time again. Some of us since we were kids playing AAU. You’ve just been in that situation. High school basketball. College basketball. It’s the same game, it’s just a lot more people at the games. You just go out there and try to stay in the moment.”
The Clippers overcame a slow start to finish at 49 percent shooting from the field. The Jazz went in the opposite direction, getting sloppy with the ball in the third quarter and making numerous defensive mistakes. They also shot just 41.0 percent from the field and were 7 for 26 from beyond the arc.
The Clippers defense was swarming similar to Game 2. Joe Johnson had an opportunity to tie the contest with 9 seconds remaining, his 3-point attempt sailed wide to the left, as Jordan put a hand in his face.
This was a team effort; Luc Mbah A Moute had 13 points including consecutive jumpers to end the first half. Mo Speights got big minutes, and was effective around the rim.
The Clippers X-factor was Austin Rivers. Rivers was inserted into the starting lineup after missing the first four games of the series. His clutch 3-pointers in the fourth quarter sealed the deal, which brought Clippers owner Steve Ballmer to his feet pumping his fist in the air.
Game 7 is Sunday, April 30, with tipoff at 12:30 p.m. on ABC. The winner will advance to face the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Semifinals.
The Clippers are at their best when everything is on the line!