The Clippers finished their season with a 143-127 win over the Jazz, who were resting the majority of their rotation guys. The Clippers, meanwhile, had to play their rotation players at least 20 minutes each — much longer than Doc had hoped, I am sure. While Doc Rivers was able to sit his starters for the majority of the fourth quarter and overtime, it’s hard to feel good about this win and how the Clippers are positioned going into the playoffs.
On the bright side, Patrick Beverley had 14 points on 5-for-9 shooting (4-for-7 from three), which was nice to see after the time he has missed recently. Landry Shamet was likewise pretty good from three (3-for-8) and had 14 points as well. Ivica Zubac played well, but was on the floor much too long given the dynamics of the game (30 minutes). He finished with 22 points on 77% shooting and had three huge blocks. The last source of positivity was Montrezl Harrell, who also shot 77% (24 points, leading the Clippers in scoring) and provided a few big moments that kept the crowd in the game as the Jazz continued to creep up on the Clippers.
Lou Williams, my MVP for this Clippers season, was off tonight. He shot under 30% for the game and had three turnovers. Given that Lou is a veteran, I am inclined to give him a pass. It’s tough for a guy like him to get up for the last game of the season, which didn’t matter for seeding, after he’s carried the Clippers all season. Overall, however, the Clippers’ trouble in the game came with what they let the Jazz get away with. Grayson Allen exploded for 40 points, as the Clippers gifted him 14 free throws, of which he made 13. Georges Niang added 24 of his own (if Niang is putting up 24 on the Clippers, I can only imagine what the Warriors have in store for us, but we’ll leave that alone for now). Finally, the Jazz had 17 offensive rebounds, which speaks to their effort and energy.
In the end, the Clippers were able to uphold Lawler’s Law for one last time, to honor Ralph’s last regular season game. Sure, it took overtime, but who was really going to object to 5 more free minutes of the greatest broadcaster in the history of the NBA (I’m not biased).
In case you missed it, here is some footage of the halftime ceremony that paid tribute to Ralph’s 40 year career:
On a side note, the reviews of Bill Walton’s broadcasting performance indicate that it was quite the comedy show. For those of us who were at the game, please comment below with your favorite moments of the broadcast, if you were able to check it out. Additionally, for those who were at the game or were stuck with ESPN’s broadcast, Ralph and Bill’s call should be available on NBA League Pass soon, and should also hopefully get replayed on Fox Sports Prime Ticket.