Every morning, we'll give you five things from the night before in the NBA to start your day.1: San Antonio gets to rest
The Utah Jazz gave it their best shot. They really did. And going into the series, some of the talk was about how the Jazz size could expose a weakness on the Spurs and give them more problems than an 8-seed should.
The Spurs survived a Utah run last night to cut a 21-point lead down to four in the last minute, but they came up with the one play they needed to hold off the Jazz and complete the sweep. And in the oddest development of long-time NBA observers, the Spurs won by picking up the pace. Don't be fooled by the silver-and-black jerseys and Tim Duncan still hanging around. This team is neither old, nor slow.
Now they get to do the one thing Gregg Popovich spent the condensed regular season desperately looking for: rest. Good luck, next Spurs opponent2: The Clips may be waiting for them
I'm not sure if the Clippers feel the need to dispatch the Grizzlies a little more quickly now that they know the Spurs are just chillin' in SA waiting for the next victim. They should. And they have a chance after last night's OT win to take a 3-1 series lead. Chris Paul scored eight of his 27 in OT to carry the Clips after Blake Griffin fouled out (more on Blake's night in a minute).
Reggie Evans continues to do the little things that go pretty much unnoticed, but are series-changing events. Key rebounds that can swing games have ended up in Evans' hands. They allow Blake Griffin to do what he's been doing, and Chris Paul to continue to play hero. Evans is keeping Zach Randolph in check when it matters, and that's going to keep the Grizzlies from advancing.3: HIGHLIGHTS!!!
Blake Griffin, with the very Blake Griffin and-1
Bledsoe starts it with a great block... and Griffin finishes
Devin Harris with a great chase-down block
4: Line of the Night: Blake Griffin - 30 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists
Griffin is just too much for the Grizzlies to handle. Well, he's too much for a lot of teams to handle, but he was especially too much last night. And it's about time Blake realized that.
Let's be fair to Blake here. As ubiquitous as he may seem, this is only his second NBA season and his first ever taste of the playoffs. So it's not a shock that he may have come out tentative. Last night, though, Blake was back to being Blake, and it paid off with a big night that the Clippers sorely needed to take control of the series.
The marketers may have latched on to him and he's got that goofy charm that assures he'll keep showing up in commercials, but he's still a 23 year-old learning the ropes. If he's a quick study, maybe the Spurs will have their hands full.5: You can quote me on that
"I thought his seven assists were huge for us. When he has seven assists, that's a really good sign because when he's going to touch the ball, he has to make plays for other guys, too. And he did."
-Clippers coach Vinnie Del Negro, on Griffin
"Some people thought it was over and the Jazz ran it right at us. They don't quit. They are a class team and a class organization and (coach) Ty (Corbin) is continuing that."
-Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, on the Spurs blowing a 21 point lead
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