Saturday night's game was the first playoff appearance in five years for the Utah Jazz. It was a matchup of the fourth-seeded Los Angeles Clippers and the fifth seed Utah Jazz. Staples Center was crowded on Saturday night as the Clippers started the battle of Western Conference's playoffs hoping that they can make it to their first Conference Finals appearance ever. The last time these two teams met in the playoffs was a first-round series in 1996-97, won 3-0 by the Jazz. Austin Rivers did not play in this game for the Clippers due to strained left hamstring. He will be out for at least the first two games of the series.

Tightly contested game

Jazz and the Clippers have met four times this season and the Clippers won the season series 3-1. After Rudy Gobert got carried off the court just 17 seconds into the game, it appeared like another win is in store for LA. Gobert was setting a screen when he and Mbah a Moute made contact and Gobert fell to the court clutching his left leg. Gobert's injury didn't demoralize the team as they finished the first quarter down just two points (24-22). It was a close first half with neither team being able to pull away. The score was tied at 52-52 after the first two-quarters of playing time.

Teams went back and fourth in the third quarter with Jazz taking a four-point lead into the fourth (74-70).

Utah's biggest lead was seven points midway through the fourth quarter (88-81) as the game went down to the wire. Clippers were down 95-93 when Chris Paul banked in a floater with 13 seconds to go, tying the game at 95. Utah had the last possession of the game with the ball in Joe Johnson's hands. He was isolated against Jamal Crawford on the final play of the game and he hit a floater at the buzzer.

The final score was 97-95 for Quinn Snyder's team.

Johnson's big game off the bench

Joe Johnson was the match-winner for Utah in this one. He came off the bench and led the Jazz in scoring with 21 points. In addition to his game-winner, he also added three rebounds and three assists. Johnson leads all active NBA players with 8 game-winning buzzer beaters in the last 10 seasons.

Gordon Hayward finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds for Utah and George Hill contributed with 16 points and four assists.

Blake Griffin was the leading scorer for LA in Saturday's game with 26 points. He added 7 rebounds and three assists.

Chris Paul finished with 25 points and 11 assists but it wasn't enough. Clippers had 15 turnovers and shot 8-24 from the three-point line. Game 2 will be played on Tuesday night at Staples Center.

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