SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Chris Paul scored 34 points and the Los Angeles Clippers rallied for a 111-106 victory over the Utah Jazz on Friday night to take a 2-1 lead in the first-round playoff series.
The Jazz led most of the game before Paul took over in the fourth quarter and powered a 15-0 run that gave the Clippers a 103-96 lead with 2:09 remaining. Utah never led again.
The win negated a spectacular night from Gordon Hayward, who scored a career-high 40 points. But Paul simply dominated the fourth quarter, scoring nine straight himself during the run and getting wherever he wanted on the floor. He iced the game with a pair of free throws with 5.3 seconds remaining and finished with seven rebounds and 10 assists.
DeAndre Jordan had 17 points and 13 rebounds for the Clippers, who played without the injured Blake Griffin in the second half. Luc Mbah a Moute scored a career playoff-high 15 points.
Joe Johnson tried to will the Jazz to victory in the fourth quarter after Hayward slowed down. He finished with 15 off the bench and George Hill scored 26 thanks to a 13-point third quarter.
Griffin left the game with 3:18 remaining in the second quarter and did not return after landing awkwardly following a transition layup. The Clippers ruled it a bruised right big toe. The five-time All-Star had 11 points, six rebounds and two assists in 18 minutes.
Griffin had X-rays at the arena that were negative and the Clippers planned to re-evaluate him later Friday night.
Clippers: Austin Rivers missed his third game of the series due to a strained left hamstring. … Paul passed Wilt Chamberlain to rank No. 30 on the NBA’s career playoff assists list.
Jazz: Alec Burks sat out after getting a platelet rich plasma injection in his left knee on Thursday. … Hill surpassed the 1,000 career playoff points plateau in the third quarter.
Jazz center Rudy Gobert did not play again due to a hyperextended left knee and bone contusion suffered 17 seconds into the series opener. Derrick Favors started at center and Boris Diaw opened at power forward.
Jazz coach Quin Snyder said he and Clippers coach Doc Rivers have talked about how both teams have been injury plagued this season.
“The bottom line is nobody will remember who is playing and who is not playing,” Snyder said. “They will just remember which team was able to win.”
The Jazz host the Clippers for Game 4 on Sunday.
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