The Los Angeles Clippers are accustomed to things not going their way, but that doesn’t make this most-recent era of futility any easier to explain. Sunday’s Game 7 loss to the Utah Jazz meant the Clippers had done what seemed impossible but felt all-too-familiar: coughed up a playoff series lead. It marked an unprecedented fifth straight postseason in which the Clippers had blown a series lead before bowing out. The club has been one of the NBA’s best for more than a half decade, winning 60 percent of its games each of the past six seasons. Yet, during that span, it has somehow failed to reach the Western finals even once.

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