#3. Joe Johnson’s Game 5 dagger
Joe Johnson was absolutely awe-inspiring in the Utah Jazz’s first-round playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers as he willed the Jazz to victory on more than one occasion. Spoiler alert: the best of those occasions (I’m sure you all know what I’m referring to) has yet to come on this list, but be patient we’re getting to that.
In Game 4, Joe Johnson pretty much had me on my feet for the entire fourth quarter as he took over and cashed in on big shot after big shot to give Utah the unlikely win despite the absence of Gordon Hayward who left the game with food poisoning.
While that performance is more of an honorable mention than one of the top 5, I still felt it would be necessary to include the video of his clutch play in that game here below:
The play I want to talk about as number three on our list, though, came in Game 5 of that same series. The series was knotted at two games apiece and was neck-and-neck the entire game. With just over 20 seconds left in the contest, the Jazz had a three-point lead and the ball, when Joe Johnson nailed the pretty step-back fade-away to give Utah a two-possession lead and essentially seal the game. I pretty much leaped through the roof after he made this shot:
While I was jumping around like a madman, Steve Ballmer had a somewhat different reaction as Andy Larsen mentioned in the tweet above and as you can see here:
The faces around and immediately behind him are priceless as well. Johnson cashed in on one heck of a shot and it ultimately gave the Jazz a commanding 3-2 lead before winning the series in Game 7.