Celtics return to form, Thunder outlast Rockets, Chris Paul saves Clippers

Friday night’s NBA playoff games saw the Eastern Conference’s one seed finally play like a one seed and two Western Conference battles that went down to the wire.

Both teams struggled offensively, but for different reasons. The Jazz created good scoring chances yet couldn’t get open shots to fall consistently. The Clippers looked completely Cheap MLB Baseball Jerseys out of sync at times and relied far too much on isolations and contested jumpers. You could even hear Doc Rivers on the game broadcast imploring his guards to drive to put stress on the defense. Chris Paul and J.J. Redick played well, but there wasn’t much else to be excited about if you’re a Clippers fan.

Turning point: This may not be viewed as a turning point so much as a missed opportunity. In the third quarter, the offense really slowed down. Both teams went more than two and a half consecutive minutes without a point, and the Clippers only made one field goal in the final 7:50 of the quarter. The Jazz won the third 18-15. Had the Clippers merely been competent offensively, they would have had a real shot at taking a lead into the fourth. As it stands, LA is in survival mode.

X-factor: This spot should just be reserved for Joe Johnson. The Clipper killer is now averaging 18.2 points in the first round on 53.4 percent shooting (36.4 percent from 3). Johnson drained a huge 3-pointer with less than three minutes to go, then hit a fadeaway jumper with 19.2 seconds left to give the Jazz a two-possession lead. Johnson is 8 of 10 from the field in clutch Cheap Mountain Bike Jerseys situations this postseason (game within five points, less than five minutes in the fourth quarter or overtime). When the game gets close, give Joe the ball, and get out of the way.

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