The Utah Jazz beat the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday, 114-108. Gordon Hayward scored 27 to lead the Jazz, but Rudy Gobert may have set the tone for Utah during two incidents in the 4th quarter. First, Gobert popped J.J. Reddick in the jaw while boxing out. Then late in the game, Chris Paul retaliated.
After the game, Paul complimented Gobert and also accused him of talking a lot. Many people have found this comment to be full of rich irony as that’s a great way to describe Chris Paul and the Clippers. As DeAndre Jordan apparently did during the brief moments he was heading to Dallas two years ago.
This was the third time these teams have met this season with the Clippers winning the first two and another game coming up on March 25th. They are also positioned to meet in the playoffs in the 4-5 match-up. With 15 games remaining, the Jazz are 4 games behind the Rockets, and the Clippers are 2.5 games ahead of Oklahoma City.
It will be interesting to see how this rivalry progresses. The Jazz are about to make the playoffs for the first time since 2012. They want what the Clippers have – and a lot more.
2012 was also the first postseason of the current Clippers’ team’s run. They won their first round series before being swept by the Spurs. They’ve been unable to outdo that performance. So now you’ve got the young upstart Jazz and the plateaued Clippers both hoping to get to the next level and right now they’re both standing directly in each other’s way.