Gordon Hayward scored 27 points, including five during an 8-0 Jazz run in the fourth quarter, to lead the Jazz to a 96-92 win over the Clippers to take a 3-2 lead in their best-of-seven first-round series.
The Clippers rallied in the fourth quarter with an 11-0 run to tie the game at 69-69, but the Jazz answered back with big shots from Hayward and Rodney Hood to extend the lead to eight with 6:13 to play.
“We just had to keep playing,” said Jazz head coach Quin Snyder. “Nothing magical. Teams make runs, and we talked about it, whether it’s an 11-0 or a 13-2 or 9-0, whatever it is, that’s going to happen. I think that it’s more about how you respond to it, and we responded pretty well.”
Hayward led six Jazz players in double figures. Rodney Hood and Joe Johnson scored 16 and 14 respectfully. George Hill scored 12 points. Rudy Gobert had 11 points and 11 rebounds, and Boris Diaw added 10 points.
The Jazz now have a chance to close out the series on their home court on Friday night.
“We have to treat this one as like a must-win,” said Hayward. “We want to close it out in Salt Lake City. We definitely don’t want to come back here for Game 7. There’s going to be so much energy in that building. Our fans are tremendous, and playing in front of them, I know they’re going to be loud. They’re going to bring us a lot of energy. I think we want to try to carry some of the momentum we have right now, and that we can do from watching film, from just remembering how we got to where we are right now.”
“We are kind of growing up in the moment,” said Johnson. “We have to go home with a business mindset and not be overconfident but confident enough. This has to be our Game 7 in Game 6.”