Sunday, April 30, 2017
Associated Press- Gordon Hayward scored 26 points and George Hill and Derek Favors each chipped in 17 as the Utah Jazz ended Paul Pierce's career Sunday at Staples Center.
From the beginning, Utah outplayed the Clippers and made the extra hustle plays needed to end Pierce's career.
"We knew what we had to do tonight," Hayward said after the game. "We knew what was on the line. It was Paul Pierce's career. And we had to end it. And we did."
The Clippers, fresh off a win in which Pierce's career was extended for another game, fell behind early and couldn't make up the deficit to save Pierce's career.
Clippers coach Doc Rivers played a video montage for the team before the game which featured several clips of Pierce throughout his career dunking, scoring some layups, and hoisting the NBA championship trophy as a Boston Celtic in 2008. Needless to say, the Clippers were inspired.
"We wanted to go out tonight and extend Pierce's career," Chris Paul said. "That was it. And even though we fell short, and his career is over, we feel like we played them tooth and nail."
The Jazz continue their playoff run Tuesday night when they attempt to end more opponents' careers.
Coach Quinn Snyder mentioned he was proud of his team for the way they handled the pressure of being in a hostile environment where everybody wanted Paul Pierce's career to keep going. "This is what it's all about," he said. "Doing all the little things. Good things happen when you play aggressive disciplined basketball. Like ending Paul Pierce's career."