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Los Angeles • Gordon Hayward. Rudy Gobert. Joe Johnson.

For six games, those three served as dominant individual storylines for the Utah Jazz. George Hill had nice moments but, by and large, had been a footnote.

But as the Jazz defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 104-91 in Sunday's Game 7, advancing to the Western Conference semifinals, Hill stood right on center stage.

Offensively, the point guard scored 17 points, handed out five assists and grabbed four rebounds. Defensively, he stuck to Chris Paul, forcing him into a 6-of-19 shooting night, by far his worst game of the series.

When the Jazz traded for Hill last summer, they did so with days like Sunday in mind. When they needed him the most, he was there with an efficient performance on both ends of the floor.

"I don't think I bring anything different, I'm a pretty humble person," Hill said. "I just have the experience of going to the Eastern Conference finals a couple of times, and some long playoff runs. But like I tell every guy, we've just got to keep pounding away. Anything is possible."

Hill's season — like many of his Jazz teammates — has been a roller coaster. At times, he's played the best basketball of his career, but a nagging toe injury robbed him of a big chunk of the season.

Lost in Paul's brilliance through six games was how solid Hill has been himself, averaging 16.8 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. Hill played 35 minutes on Sunday, and the Jazz offense sputtered whenever he went to the bench for a rest.

Hill made 7 of 13 shots from the field, and one 3-pointer in two attempts. Under his leadership, the Jazz offense consistently found good looks at the basket in the most important game of the season — though his defense of Paul served as his biggest contribution.

"We talked about being up on Chris more," Hill said. "We wanted to be active and make him hit DeAndre [Jordan] and some of the other guys more and make them make plays. I think it was a great team effort."

The Jazz did a few things differently with Paul. They were able to take the ball out of his hands a bit. They didn't allow him to penetrate to the basket. But it was Hill who took the individual challenge of stopping the All-Star.

In the first six games, Paul consistently wiggled free for open midrange looks. In Game 7, Hill was able to get a hand in his face and come through in some of the most important moments of the series for the Jazz defensively.

Twitter: @tribjazz