SALT LAKE CITY — Within seconds after Tuesday’s Game 5 loss to the Jazz at the Staples Center, Clippers coach Doc Rivers could be seen telling a disconsolate Chris Paul “We’ll be back,” assuring his star point guard they’d be back home for a game Sunday afternoon.
Turns out Rivers knew what he was talking about.
Thanks to a gritty 98-93 win Friday night at Vivint Arena, the Clippers are going back to Staples Center with a 3-3 tie in the best-of-seven series.
“This series derserves a Game 7,” said Rivers after the victory. “Our records are identical for the whole season. We deserve a Game 7. Now we’ve got to do something about it.”
Rivers had called Friday’s a “tough loss,” but also said, “I’m not going to bury my head or anything like that.” Rivers and the Clippers knew they had come back in a similar scenario two years earlier to knock off San Antonio on the road in Game 6 and win Game 7 at home.
“This team is not going to quit, I’ll tell you that,” Rivers had said, and added, “This should be a fun game.”
Well, it was a fun game for the Clippers, anyway, who came back from an early deficit to take a two-point lead at halftime, then pushed…