Reggie Jackson much preferred the officiating in Game 2, thank you very much. The Los Angeles Clippers guard got into foul trouble in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Utah Jazz, racking up four fouls in the second half of the game before eventually fouling out late in the quarter.
Jackson, who has averaged 19.0 points, 1.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists so far through two games against the Jazz, fared far better in Game 2. After scoring just nine points in the first game of the series, Jackson led the Clippers in scoring with 29 points in Game 2 — and he picked up just one foul in his 36 minutes on the court. When asked after the game what the difference was, Jackson was short and to the point in his response.
Follow the Heavy on Clippers Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content out of Clipper Nation!
Jackson: ‘I Had Different Refs’
According to the Clippers shooting guard, the officiating in Game 1 was quite a bit different than it was in Game 2. “Different refs. I had different refs. It was ref’ed differently and they allowed me to play,” Jackson told reporters after the game.
The Clips lost the first game of the series, 112-109, and they dropped Game 2, 117-111. After trailing at the half 66-53, in the second game, L.A. managed to outscore Utah in the 3rd and 4th quarters, but it wasn’t quite enough.
When asked what he and the Clippers did to adjust in the second half of the game, Jackson again brought up the officiating:
I think we got some stops. We kept them off the offensive glass. They only had two offensive boards. So whether it be Zu in, getting out early, trying to make sure we can get some screens, get it downhill. You know, give them some touches to attack the paint or attack the rim, whether it be five-out, we are just trying to make sure that we can keep them on their heels and not allow them to get in any set defenses where they are really good at, and like I said try to put them in their heels and attack and put the onus on the refs.
Could We See More of Jackson Trying to Equalize Rudy Gobert?
One adjustment L.A. made in the second half was putting Jackson on Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert. Despite the size difference, Jackson managed to harass the big man enough to keep him off balance.
“I think we found something we liked,” Jackson said about the matchup. “This is a game of adjustments. We got to switch it up a little bit, and they were coming at us downhill attacking. We went a little bit zone to help us out some. Rudy allowed us to get matched up and try to make things tough on him, make him work different shots.”
Jackson also told Clutch Points’ Tomer Azarly that the Clips made an effort to push the break and get to the paint before Gobert could get back to be too much of a factor on defense.
Now, down 0-2 once again, Jackson and company have to focus on staying alive by winning Game 3. “You (know) what they say about a series; it doesn’t start until someone lose on their home floor,” Jackson added. “So we have to take care of home court, go back get ready for Game 3. That’s the only game that matters.”