The previous two times Gordon Hayward and the Utah Jazz played the Los Angeles Clippers, they failed to score 80 points. That all changed Monday night when they defeated L.A. 114-108.
“We needed this game,” Gordon said. “We got killed by them last time in our building, so we wanted to come out here and play well. We did that tonight.”
Hayward stepped up big for his team, leading them to a victory with a team-high 27 points, four assists and three rebounds.
“You can tell it’s getting down to playoff time here,” he said after the big night.
The Jazz trailed for most of the first half, but Hayward’s 14 points in the first two quarters kept Utah in the game. Then after the break, it was all Jazz.
In the third quarter, Utah exploded for 40 points, a single-quarter season-high.
“The last two times we’ve played (the Clippers) we’ve laid an egg offensively,” G-Time said. “For us to score the basketball like we did tonight was good for us as a team. It gave us some confidence.”
G-Time added eight points in the final quarter, including two 3-pointers and two free-throws with nine seconds left to seal the deal.
It was a huge victory for Utah, with playoff seeding implications on the line in the Western Conference. It was an especially impressive win considering the Jazz were coming off a 112-104 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder where all five starters were benched for poor play.
Hayward finished the game against the Thunder with only nine points in 21 minutes, but with the victory over the Clippers, and five wins in the last six games, that poor outing seems long in the past.
“Excited for us as a team with how we’ve played,” Hayward said. “It was a big step to go into Houston and win and then win tonight.”
Up next, the Jazz travel to Detroit to play the Pistons on Wednesday night.