Clippers beat Jazz 143-137 in OT to stop 3-game skid
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Clippers won 48 games and made the playoffs without any current or former All-Stars on the roster.
Their reward? Getting the defending champion Golden State Warriors in the first round.
“We got a battle ahead of us and it’s about locking in,” said Montrezl Harrell, who scored 24 points to lead seven players in double figures in a 143-137 overtime win over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night. “We can’t be in awe.”
The Clippers snapped a three-game skid to end the regular season, although the losses had already dropped them from the sixth seed to No. 8.
“It’s a whole new season,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “Time to get going.”
Ivica Zubac added 22 points and 11 rebounds and Patrick Beverley had 14 points in his return from injury.
The Warriors won the season series 3-1, with the Clippers’ lone victory coming in overtime at home on Nov. 12 with some players who are no longer on the team.
“The pressure is on them, of course,” Beverley said of Golden State. “Understanding we have to do everything the right way to beat this team.”
Rivers joked, “If we could take (Stephen) Curry, (Kevin) Durant and (Klay) Thompson away that would be terrific.”
Against the Jazz, the Clippers had seven players in double figures.
Grayson Allen led Utah with a career-high 40 points. The rookie made 13 of 14 free throws and five 3-pointers, but was limited to four points in overtime.
“It feels good to get out there and play, and have some success scoring and to feel good about my game and how I’m playing,” Allen said. “It’s something I can look back on a little bit later and see how I improved from the beginning of the year.”
The Jazz earned the fifth seed and they’ll play No. 4 Houston in the first round.
“When you get an opportunity to play postseason basketball you’re excited, but we’re even more excited because they knocked us out of the playoffs last year,” said Georges Niang, who added 24 points.
The Clippers dominated overtime, 17-8. Zubac had back-to-back dunks and rookie Jerome Robinson scored six of his seven points.
The Jazz outscored the Clippers 29-24 in the fourth after Los Angeles led by nine. Allen had 14 points in the quarter.
His free throws put Utah ahead 126-124, but the Jazz fouled Sindarius Thornwell, who made both to tie it up and force overtime.
The Clippers shot 71 percent in the first quarter when they led by 17.
Jazz: F-C Derrick Favors (back spasms) missed his fifth straight game. ... C Rudy Gobert (left ankle soreness), G Kyle Korver (right knee soreness), G Donovan Mitchell (thoracic spasm), G Ricky Rubio (left quad contusion) and G Raul Neto (left ankle soreness) sat out. ... They have won eight of 10. ... They lost the second game of their final back-to-back.
Clippers: Beverley returned after missing the last three games with a right hip pointer. ... They lost the season series 2-1.
Ralph Lawler called his 3,229th and last regular season game for the Clippers.
They even obliged his trademark Lawler’s Law, which states the first team to 100 points wins.
Lawler, who turns 81 on April 21, plans to end his 60-year broadcasting career whenever the Clippers are eliminated from the playoffs. He’s handled their games for 40 years.
Jazz: Meet Houston in first round of Western Conference playoffs.
Clippers: Meet defending champion Golden State in first round.