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Los Angeles • Chris Paul hugged Jazz coach Quin Snyder as he walked toward the table in the interview room Sunday, while embracing the reality that the Jazz finally figured out to stop him Sunday.

Paul's 1-of-9 shooting in the second half of the Los Angeles Clippers' 104-91 loss to the Jazz in Game 7 of their first-round playoff series will stick with him through a summer of uncertainty. If the Jazz had lost Sunday, Gordon Hayward and other potential free agents would have fielded questions about their futures.

Instead, that subject quickly became the Clippers' biggest issue after their elimination from the playoffs. As coach Doc Rivers said, "We've been reading about our obituary for three months now, so I'm sure everyone will have that."

The possible breakup of the Paul/Blake Griffin Clippers surfaced at various stages this season — especially at checkpoints of this series, such as a Game 5 loss at home that pushed the team toward elimination. The Clippers temporarily dismissed that theme when they won Game 6 in Salt Lake City, but they couldn't knock out the Jazz in a series that featured five road wins.

Paul credited the Jazz's trapping defense with altering his attack, after he averaged 27 points through six games and was shooting better than 50 percent overall, 40 percent from 3-point range and 90 percent from the free-throw line. He posted 13 points on 6-of-19 shooting Sunday.

"Man, I know I've got to be better," he said.

And then the questions about the Clippers' future came in bunches. Asked about the team's needs, Paul said, "Luckily, that's not my job, know what I mean? … That's not my job to maneuver who's here and who's there."

As for the subject of terminating his own contract and becoming a free agent, he said, "We just lost probably, like, 20 minutes ago."

The questions will persist between now and July 1, with Rivers in charge of the team's personnel. The outside interest on the upcoming uncertainty may have bothered the Clippers, but Rivers didn't sense any such distraction.

"I really don't think it was on their minds much," he said. "I don't know that personally. As a coach, it wasn't on my mind at all. … I don't think it's a conversation we're having in our locker room, I can say that."

Rivers' biggest issue Sunday was the Clippers' lack of offense. They scored 39 points in the first half and 63 through three quarters, and a fourth-quarter rally to within eight points in the last three minutes was insufficient.

"For me, that's really disappointing," he said, after his team shot 43.8 percent from the field.

Twitter: @tribkurt