Paul George, LA Advances to Western Conference Finals with Victory Over Utah – .

Paul George, LA Advances to Western Conference Finals with Victory Over Utah – .

The Los Angeles Clippers advance to the Western Conference Finals. With Kawhi Leonard out of the roster due to an injury in Game 6, the Clippers got the job done and advanced to the conference final for the first time in franchise history with a 131-119 victory over the Utah Jazz.

With this victory, they will now face the Phoenix Suns for the right to make the NBA Finals.

Here are four takeaways from the game:

1. Clippers complete incredible comeback

The first quarter of this game was extremely competitive, but soon after, the Jazz took control. Jordan Clarkson caught fire, they couldn’t miss a 3-point field, and by the start of the third quarter the lead had climbed to 25 points. With Kawhi Leonard still out due to a knee injury, the game seemed over.

But with a few baskets here and a few baskets there, the Clippers quietly returned to the game. By the end of the third quarter, they had reduced it to 10 points. They still had a ton of work to do, but the crowd was in on the game and all of a sudden a comeback wasn’t such a crazy idea.

It quickly snowballed from there, and with 9:34 left in the fourth quarter, Paul George scored 3 points to put the Clippers ahead for good. They dominated thoroughly in the second half and made history in the process. Their 25-point comeback was the biggest of a playoff game in the past 25 seasons, and if that wasn’t incredible enough, the Jazz were 232-1 when leading over 25 points during this period.

In addition to the actual game, the victory also meant the Clippers came back from a 2-0 deficit for the second straight series. After collapsing in the playoffs last season, they’ve shown a formidable struggle this time around.

2. The Clippers play in the first conference final in franchise history

There’s a lot to be said about this game and how it went, but it’s also worth taking a step back to recognize the historic significance of this victory. The Clippers have now advanced to the conference finals for the first time in franchise history, ending a 50-year drought that stretched back to their debut as the Buffalo Braves.

Not only was this the longest conference finals drought among NBA teams, it was the longest among all teams in the four major North American sports leagues. Long the laughing stock of the NBA, the Clippers had won just six playoffs this season. In the past few weeks, they’ve won two and will now face the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference Finals.

3. Jazz collapses again

Last season, the Jazz ceded a 3-1 lead to the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs. It was a bad loss, but you could give them a break due to the bubble situation and the fact that they weren’t perfectly healthy. In the offseason, they regrouped and seemed to have put that loss behind them by finishing with the best record in the league during the regular season.

But, now we’re talking again about how they fell apart in the playoffs. They took care of home affairs to take a 2-0 lead in this series and appeared to be in control. Even though they lost the next two games, they were still the favorites to advance once Kawhi Leonard was ruled out with a knee injury. Yet instead of enjoying the happy break, the Jazz lost Game 5 at home, then relinquished a 25-point lead in Game 6 to lose the Series 4-2.

They could point out that they weren’t healthy again, but it’s hard to do that when the other team was missing out on one of the league’s top 10 players. The point is, Jazz just aren’t good enough in the playoffs, and it’s tough to win when teams can cheat on one of your best players on the pitch. The Jazz have lost Rudy Gobert’s minutes in each of the last four games, and he’s under-24 in Game 6.

You have to imagine that there will be some major changes in Utah this offseason. They can’t get back on that list after two embarrassing back-to-back playoff outings.

4. The Terance Mann Game

Earlier in the playoffs, we got to experience the “Shake Milton game,” when the Philadelphia 76ers goaltender came off the bench and single-handedly won them Game 2 with a push in. second half-time. It was cool, but it was nothing compared to “The Terance Mann Game”.

The second-year swingman had played a limited number of minutes in the first four games of the series, but had to take on a much bigger role once Kawhi Leonard was injured. No one, not even Mann himself, could have expected him to take on the kind of role he played in Game 6.

He started with a 3-point goal for the Clippers’ opening basket, and after a tip-dunk on Rudy Gobert, he had racked up 10 points in the first four minutes. With the rest of the team, he was silent in the second quarter before reappearing in the second half brilliantly. He scored 20 points in just the third quarter and put up a huge Clippers run to get back into the game.

With just over five minutes to go in the fourth quarter, he knocked down a wide open 3 from the corner to give the Clippers a double-digit lead and effectively seal the victory. He finished with 39 of 15 for 21 points from the field, which was not only a career high in the NBA, but more points than he had ever scored in college. It was, without a doubt, the game of his life.


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