NBA: Clippers turn up heat to level series with Jazz

The Los Angeles Clippers turned up the pressure inside on Tuesday to salvage a split of the first two games of their NBA playoff series against the Utah Jazz.

Now, they'll have to keep that intensity on the road as they try to regain the home court advantage they surrendered in dropping game one of the best-of-seven Western Conference first-round series in Los Angeles.

"It's a great arena," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said of the Jazz's Salt Lake City home court.

"It's one of the few basketball arenas (where) they are sitting right on top of you. The fans are terrific there. And the noise is not going to be for you.

"Having said that, I've never seen a fan block a shot or get a steal," Rivers added. "So at the end of the day, it's going to be only 10 guys out on the floor. You've just got to keep your composure and your trust."

On Tuesday, the Clippers exploited the injury absence of Jazz big man Rudy Gobert, attacking the rim relentlessly in a 99-91 victory in which they never trailed.

Blake Griffin scored 24 points. Chris Paul had 21 points and 10 assists and three steals, despite early foul trouble.

DeAndre Jordan's 18 points included an array of crowd-pleasing dunks.

"They raised their level tonight," Jazz coach Quin Snyder said of the Clippers. "We didn't necessarily back down or not play, but I thought they played with an intensity and a level from the very beginning of the game that was ... impressive.

"We've got to raise our level now."

Snyder said he didn't know when Gobert, who suffered a hyperextended left knee and bone bruise seconds into game one, would return.

"Under the circumstances, I think he's in a good place (mentally) and his focus is on trying to get back as quickly as he can," Snyder said.

Gordon Hayward, who led the Jazz with 20 points, said Utah must find away to clamp down on the Clippers even if defensive star Gobert is missing.

"Especially there in the first quarter, it seemed like (Jordan) got a lot of easy stuff right there at the rim, easy dunks, lobs, and some of that's what they do. They're good at it. They're a good team, but we for sure have to be better."