SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – Bring on the Los Angeles Clippers.
After beating Dallas in Game 7 Sunday afternoon, the Clippers will head for Salt Lake City, where they will tip off the Western Conference Finals Tuesday night at Vivint Arena.
This will be the fourth playoff meeting between the Jazz and Clippers, but the first time they have met after the first round. In 1992, the Jazz won the best-of-five series in five games. In 1997, the Jazz swept the Clippers in the first round on their way to the NBA Finals. Then in 2017, the Jazz won Game 7 on the road to win the series.
This past season, the Jazz won two of three regular season meetings. On January 1st, with both teams a full strength, Mike Conley scored 33 points as the Jazz held on for a 106-100 victory.
On February 17, the Jazz cruised past the Clippers, who were without Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, 114-96. But two nights later, with Leonard and George back in the lineup, the Clippers held off a late Jazz rally to win, 116-112. Donovan Mitchell scored 35 points in the loss.
“They’re a team that obviously you have the top 3-point shooting team in the league,” Jazz head coach Quin Snyder said. “They make them at a higher percentage than anyone else, so they’re able to put five guys out there that can all make shots.”
The Clippers did lead the NBA at 41 percent shooting from 3-point range, and have one of the deadliest one-two combinations in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
“They can play small, which they did a lot against Dallas, they can play big, which we’ve seen before too,” Snyder said. “So we’ve got our hands full and that’s what you expect in the playoffs.”
The Jazz, who eliminated Memphis five games, hope to have Mike Conley back for Game 1. He suffered a mild strain of his hamstring in the clinching victory Wednesday night.
Here is the schedule for the best-of-seven series:
|1||Tue, June 8||8 p.m.||Vivint Arena||TNT|
|2||Thu, June 10||8 p.m.||Vivint Arena||ESPN|
|3||Sat, June 12||6:30 p.m.||STAPLES Center||ABC|
|4||Mon, June 14||8 p.m.||STAPLES Center||TNT|
|5*||Wed, June 16||TBD||Vivint Arena||TNT|
|6*||Fri, June 18||TBD||STAPLES Center||ESPN|
|7*||Sun, June 20||TBD||Vivint Arena||TBD|
|HOME GAMES IN BOLD*if necessary|
Vivint Arena will return to full seating capacity with more than 18,000 fans in the lower bowl, upper bowl and suites. Some lower bowl rows remain unavailable to maintain the NBA required distance around the player bench area. Additional space is now accessible in standing room only sections. A limited number of courtside seats are also available which require proof of full vaccination and a negative COVID-19 rapid test result.