Sun, Apr 30, 2017 - Page 11 News List

NBA Playoffs: Chris Paul wills Clippers to Game 7


The Los Angeles Clippers’ Chris Paul, right, defends against the Utah Jazz’s Rudy Gobert, center, during Game 6 of their Western Conference playoff series at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Friday.

Photo: AFP

Clippers coach Doc Rivers put it simply when he said that Chris Paul willed his team to victory with the season on the line.

Paul scored 29 points as the Los Angeles Clippers forced a Game 7 in their NBA first-round playoff series with a 98-93 victory over the Utah Jazz on Friday night.

The Clippers are to host the only do-or-die game of the first round today, with the winner advancing to face the Golden State Warriors.

“It’s just Chris,” Rivers said. “He is as competitive as a human being as I’ve ever been around. When you put that with the talent and the will, that’s why he has performances like this in big games.”

“Chris was amazing. He just willed the game for us,” he said.

Los Angeles began to edge away in the third quarter and appeared to be in control when Austin Rivers capped a 9-2 run with a step-back three-pointer that pushed the lead to 91-77 with 3 minutes, 58 seconds remaining.

He hit another with 1 minute, 29 seconds left to make it 96-86, but Gordon Hayward scored seven straight to bring the Jazz within three before Joe Johnson missed a three-pointer in the waning seconds.

Paul pushed Los Angeles throughout the night and just would not let the Clippers lose. The nine-time All-Star dominated and finished with eight assists, three rebounds and two steals. DeAndre Jordan added 13 points and 18 rebounds.

“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.”

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