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Johnson scores 28, Jazz beat Clippers 105-98 to even series

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However, they are without superstar forward Blake Griffin, who is ruled out of the postseason with an injury, and he might have played his last game for the Clippers.

Sure the top seeds will watch with interest as the Los Angeles Clippers and Utah Jazz battle in Game 5 on Tuesday night to see who gains the upper hand in their first-round series. On Saturday morning, the real diagnosis was revealed: a plantar plate injury that will sideline Griffin the remainder of the playoffs. The Utah Jazz beat Los Angeles Clippers in the Game 1 of this National Basketball Association playoffs.

The Los Angeles Clippers managed to win their first game in Utah in this series and took a 2-1 advantage heading into Game 4.

Griffin's injury figures to be more of an issue should the Clippers advance and face the Golden State Warriors, who lead their first-round series with the Portland Trail Blazers 2-0. On Friday, he authored another playoff masterpiece, scoring 34 points, with seven rebounds and 10 assists in the win.

"I don't want to dramatize it too much, but I know that we've been through a lot this year", said head coach Quin Snyder.

"He's such a dynamic player".

Perhaps understandably, players from the two teams had different mindsets as they closed the book on Game 4 and looked forward to a Game 5 that will leave the winning side just one victory away from advancing to the second round when the series moves back to Utah for Game 6 on Friday night. He's our other assist guy.

They are battling to overcome what has been described as the "Clipper curse" and Griffin's injury is the latest dose of bad luck with key injuries that has struck the team early in the playoffs in recent seasons.

Gobert averaged 14.0 points, 12.8 rebounds and an NBA-leading 2.6 blocked shots per game during the regular season. The Jazz outscored the Clippers 58-36 in the paint, a sharp contrast to Game 2 and 3, in which the Clippers outscored the Jazz by a combined 42 points in the paint.

The Clippers led by seven with seven minutes to go as Chris Paul took control.

"Foul trouble hurt us", Clippers coach Doc Rivers said.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Joe Johnson saved the Utah Jazz - again. In game 1 of the series, with Rudy Gobert going down with a knee injury, the Clippers failed to exercise a killer instinct and left the door open for a Johnson buzzer-beater.

"Yes, it's a must-win situation for us", he said. Jamal Crawford stepped up as well and added 26 points to the losing effort. The Los Angeles Clippers are allowing 42 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 37.8 rebounds per game. With Gordon Hayward out with the flu, the Jazz offense was desperately in need for an aggressive scorer.

"It's going to get better everyday", Gobert said.

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