One of the biggest questions with the Utah Jazz going into this season was about those big shots. Who would be the guy they go to when they need a key late possession? For a team built around diversity of skills, where every player can score and rebound and defend, did they have anyone ready to step up and make big shots in the clutch?

Rudy Gobert wasn't the answer. You don't go to your big man for those buckets and Gobert, efficient as he is, isn't a go-to scorer. On top of that, he suffered a knee injury on the first play Saturday against the Clipper and was out. 

George Hill is tough and efficient, but not a guy you want trying to create and knock down a tough shot on his own. 

Gordon Hayward is the team's best player and has hit those shots before, but he's far from verified, especially in a playoff series. Same goes for Rodney Hood

Still, Jazz 97, Clippers 95. 

Because of Joe friggin' Johnson. 

ISO Joe delivers again. 

What's amazing is that the Jazz basically built a team with all the things you try and add in free agency. The positional flexibility, the defense, the playmaking, the athleticism, the Jazz have all of it. They outsourced their clutch time mechanics to the seven-time All-Star, and it worked out beautifully. 

In that moment, the Jazz also benefited from circumstance, of course, just as, predictably, the Clippers wound up on the short end. Austin Rivers is an underrated defender, perfectly built to defend Johnson, and a good enough shooter to have on the floor for the Clippers' final shot attempt. Instead, with Rivers out, coach Doc Rivers needed the firepower, so he had Jamal Crawford on the court alongside J.J. Redick. It's possible Rivers might have had Crawford out there instead of his son in the first place, but it's a fascinating what if. 

And on top of that, the whole sequence is set up by Jazz coach Quin Snyder not calling timeout, giving Johnson time to exploit the matchup. If he calls timeout, like so many coaches would, then Rivers subs in Luc Richard Mbah a Moute to go defense again. The matchup advantage disappears. 

This is how playoff series are swung. The Jazz elect to add a veteran most considered past his prime, to give them a multi-positional weapon who you can trust with the fate of a road playoff game on the line. The Clippers suffer the kind of injury to open the door, and then Snyder is smart enough to punish them for it. It's at once a sign of how everything keeps coming together for the Jazz this year despite their injuries, and a sign of how the Clippers are just a magnet for misfortune. They blow a lead at home in Game 1, stage a furious comeback behind Chris Paul to tie, and yet somehow come out on the short end, because the Jazz effectively hired Winston Wolf from Pulp Fiction in the offseason with the Joe Johnson signing. He solves problems. 

Typically teams have the guy to take the final shot first, and struggle to build good, effective roleplayers around them. Utah stands out because of the opposite. They have built a great team, and had to hire outside help to bring that veteran ability. And Joe Johnson, at age 35, was still ready to do what he does. 

Johnson is unlikely to make the Hall of Fame, despite seven All-Star appearances, and despite having made the playoffs each of the past nine seasons. But his no-nonsense approach to the game has helped him make a mark on every team he's been on, and on Saturday, he made the Jazz's decision to add his veteran presence look like a genius move. Turns out you can outsource the clutch.