Donovan Mitchell continued his Game 1 masterpiece with a 37-point performance Thursday night in Salt Lake City to lead the Utah Jazz to a 117-111 victory and a 2-0 lead over the Los Angeles Clippers. in the semifinals of the Western Conference.
Mitchell scored 27 points in the first half, helping Utah gain momentum early on, then took a clutch shot in the dying moments to help the Jazz win their sixth straight playoff game.
Jordan Clarkson added 24 points for the Jazz. Clarkson, the Sixth man of the year, and Mitchell each scored six 3-pointers as Utah tied a franchise playoff record with 20 from beyond the arc on a scorching 51.3 percent shot.
– NBA (@NBA) June 11, 2021
Joe Ingles started in place of injured all-star point guard Mike Conley, who missed his second straight game with hamstring strain. Ingles scored 19 points with four 3 points, while teammate Bojan Bogdanovic added 16 points with three treys.
The Rudy Gobert Jazz Center received its NBA third defensive player of the year trophy before the game and then he showed why he had won it with another strong performance in defense. Gobert finished with 13 points, 20 rebounds, three blocked shots and two steals.
– NBA (@NBA) June 11, 2021
Reggie Jackson lit the Jazz for 29 points and Paul George scored 27, but the Clippers didn’t have enough in the tank after rallying to a 21-point second-half deficit to momentarily take the lead in the fourth quarter. .
Kawhi Leonard added 21 points to the Clippers, who find themselves down 2-0 for a second straight series. This time, however, LA will be heading home for Game 3, which takes place Saturday night at Staples Center.
The third quarter was quite the roller coaster. The Jazz exploded to their biggest lead at 76-55 only to see the margin collapse to four points later in the quarter as Jackson and George warmed up. The Clippers used a choking zone defense to stifle the Jazz’s hot shot.
After Utah took their biggest lead, LA responded with a 12-0 run.
Clarkson scored three straight points to help Utah dampen the momentum of the Clippers, and the Jazz took a seven-point lead in the fourth quarter.
The Clippers continued their push early in the final period as Leonard stole the ball to one side and ran down to slam it on the other side. Jackson went on to score three straight points as Los Angeles took their only lead of the game, 101-99.
Utah called for a time-out and quickly regained the lead at 104-101 after Ingles received a shot that hit the top of the backboard and collapsed into the net and Bogdanovic called with a 3-pointer. .
The Jazz extended the lead to 113-103 with three minutes remaining after a three-point game from Gobert and three points from Royce O’Neale and Ingles.
Just like Game 1, however, the Clippers came back in with a dunk from Jackson and a three-point play from George. But Mitchell responded with tough practice and a free throw to give Utah just enough cushion.
Mitchell started where he left off in Game 1, hitting blow after blow to lead the Jazz to an early lead. He scored 14 points in the first quarter, then added 13 in the second, including a 31-foot 3-pointer that gave Utah a 13-point lead at halftime.
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