Utah's Gobert sprains left knee on 1st play of game

Utah's Gobert sprains left knee on 1st play of game

It paid off when Johnson drove the lane and hit a floater at the buzzer, giving the Jazz a 97-95 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers after Utah lost Rudy Gobert 17 seconds into their playoff opener on Saturday night.

The good news is Gobert doesn't have anything structurally wrong with his knee. Nevertheless, the Clippers need to contemplate alternatives to their normal lineups after struggling to stop Utah when the Jazz used 6-foot-10 power forward Derrick Favors as their primary big man. Utah 7-footer Jeff Withey had a cameo appearance, but Favors was the player the Clippers couldn't seem to do much about on the interior. The Clippers were ahead by six when the Jazz outscored them 14-2 in the second quarter to take their own six-point lead.

"I think our defense has to be better", Paul said. "I just thought they scored easier than I would like", Rivers said. "And we've got to cut down on our turnovers [15]. We had a lot of turnovers and they turned them into points". The Clippers closed within 90-89 on a jumper by Paul with 3:10 remaining, but the Jazz answered with buckets by Hayward and Johnson, the latter coming with 1:08 left for a 94-89 advantage.

A Saturday MRI revealed no structural damage, but it is unclear when or if he will be able to return for the series. Clippers G Austin Rivers (left hamstring strain) will miss at least the first two games of the series. The Clippers earned the No. 4 seed and home court by virtue of winning the season series 3-1. Gobert had to be helped off the court, leaning heavily on two people as he made his way to the locker room.

"We've got to be better", Paul said.