The Utah Jazz were back in the NBA Playoffs for the first time in five years and made it count as they went on the road and defeated the Los Angeles Clippers, 97-95, thanks to a game-winning shot by Joe Johnson as time expired.
After Chris Paul got the tying bucket to go with 15 seconds left in the game, Johnson calmly took the ball up the court before he isolated himself against Jamal Crawford on the final play. The seven-time NBA All-Star powered his way inside before floating the ball up and over DeAndre Jordan. The shot bounced around the rim before falling in to give the Jazz their first playoff victory since 2010.
— Justin Giles (@JustinGiles_) April 16, 2017
The win was even more impressive in that the Jazz were playing without star center Rudy Gobert — who averaged 14.0 points and 12.8 rebounds during the regular season — after he sprained his knee just 15 seconds into the game.
But veteran players like Johnson and point guard George Hill stepped up to lead one of the youngest NBA teams. Johnson finished with a game-high 21 points and three steals, Hill added 16 points and Gordon Hayward chipped in with a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds.
The Jazz will look to take advantage of the best of seven series with three of the next five games being played at home.
Here’s how social media reacted to Utah’s crazy win.
Joe Johnson has now made an NBA-best 8 game-winning buzzer-beaters in the last 10 seasons!
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) April 16, 2017
Joe Johnson SOMEHOW put this ball where DeAndre couldn't get it. pic.twitter.com/9PCeHq3u71
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) April 16, 2017
Some people didn't seem to know for days in July that the Jazz had signed Joe Johnson. Suspect they do now. What a win for the Jazz.
— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) April 16, 2017
— McKoye Mecham (@RealMcKoye) April 16, 2017
BUZZER BEATER ALERT!!! 🚨🚨🚨
JOE JOHNSON AT THE BUZZER IN LA GIVES THE JAZZ A 1-0 LEAD!!!!
IT'S EVEN BETTER WITH TITANIC MUSIC!!!
— 🚢Titanic Hoops🏀 (@TitanicHoops) April 16, 2017
— Ryan (@ryfish65) April 16, 2017
@SpencerJCox 's grandkids in the future: "Grandpa, why do we celebrate Easter?"
Cox: "Well, it all started with a man named Joe Johnson…"
— Riley Lewis (@rylzlewis) April 16, 2017
Joe Johnson with the game winner at the age of 35! Still younger than most BYU athletes! Incredible! #TakeNote
— Jonny Linehan (@jlinehan9) April 16, 2017