NBA: Utah Jazz eke out 97-95 play-off win over LA Clippers despite losing centre Rudy Gobert

Utah Jazz forward Joe Johnson (centre) with teammates Joe Ingles (left) and Gordon Hayward at the match against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Utah Jazz forward Joe Johnson (centre) with teammates Joe Ingles (left) and Gordon Hayward at the match against the Los Angeles Clippers.PHOTO: EPA

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - Joe Johnson hit a runner in the lane as time expired, lifting the Utah Jazz to a 97-95 victory over Los Angeles in Game 1 of the Western Conference play-offs at Staples Center.

Johnson scored a team-high 21 points as the Jazz prevailed despite losing centre Rudy Gobert in the opening minute.

Gordon Hayward contributed 19 points and 10 rebounds, George Hill added 16 points and Derrick Favors chipped in 15 points for Utah.

Gobert suffered a sprained left knee in the opening minute of their play-off opener.

An imposing presence inside for Utah, Gobert led the National Basketball Association (NBA) with 2.6 blocked shots per game during a breakout season that saw him average 14 points and 12.8 rebounds.

There is no immediate news on his availability for the remainder of the series.