clearn.png
Wednesday June 23rd, 2021 1:41AM

Mitchell has 37, Jazz beat Clippers 117-111 for 2-0 lead

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Donovan Mitchell's scoring sent the Utah Jazz into the lead and their defense closed the door.

Mitchell scored 37 points and the Jazz forced nine straight misses down the stretch to outlast the Los Angeles Clippers 117-111 on Thursday night and take a 2-0 lead in their Western Conference semifinal series.

Mitchell clinched the game with a driving shot with 43 seconds remaining but then appeared to hurt his leg slightly on a foul by Paul George with 10 seconds to play. He made one of two free throws after hobbling to the line.

“I’m fine now. I walked in here and if you want me to sprint for you, I can. I’m good,” Mitchell said.

The guard is the first Jazz player with at least 35 points in back-to-back playoff games since Karl Malone in 1988, but the points became more difficult as the game wore on.

“I don’t feel like I have to go out there and do everything. I think that’s a credit to the guys we have on this team because they can go out there make plays. Everybody’s elevated their game,” Mitchell said.

Jordan Clarkson scored 24, including six 3-pointers, while Joe Ingles had 19 points and Rudy Gobert contributed 13 points and a career playoff-high 20 rebounds.

Reggie Jackson led the Clippers with 29 points and George had 27. Kawhi Leonard scored 21 points but managed just two in the fourth quarter.

The series shifts to Los Angeles on Saturday for Game 3.

Once the Clippers took their only lead at 101-99 after consecutive 3-pointers by Jackson, the Jazz forced nine consecutive misses to power a 14-2 run that was capped by Ingles’ 3-pointer to make it 113-103 with 3:07 to play.

“You can’t dig yourself a hole like that against a good team. Then you got to expend all your energy trying to get back in the game and you don’t have enough to finish,” Clippers coach Tyronne Lue said.

In the second half, the Clippers mixed multiple coverages and cut off the passing lanes that usually garner the Jazz clean 3-point looks and Jackson got hot.

“We took a punch, but we were able to collect ourselves and obviously got stops late,” Utah coach Quin Snyder.

Mitchell scored 27 first-half points — the most by a Utah player in the last 25 years — to spark the Jazz to an early lead and then a late second-quarter push to boost Utah to a 66-53 halftime lead.

“I’ve seen every coverage. It’s just a matter of me making the right reads,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell shot 11 of 16 in the first half and did the same in the second half of Game 1. He tallied 59 points on 22-of-32 shooting over those four quarters.

The demonstrative Mitchell has said he wants to conserve energy with the exceptional physical demands of the playoffs, but he couldn’t help showing emotion one some of his spectacular finishes.

“So for me it was, I’m going to make my imprint … that was my mindset, I’m going to be aggressive and pick my spots,” Mitchell said.

Mike Conley missed his second game after injuring his hamstring late in the Utah-Memphis series finale but the Jazz have now won six straight playoff games.

Jackson scored 16 points in the third quarter and the Jazz finally started missing shots against an active Clippers zone. Their 21-point lead shrunk to four when Marcus Morris drove the lane and flipped in a leaning shot to make it 82-78. The Clippers made their comeback without Leonard, who sat most of the period with four fouls.

“We’re just trying to make sure we can keep them on their heels and not allow them to get into set defenses,” Jackson said. “That’s what I love about life is the law of averages. We were bound to get hot.”

For most of the game, the Clippers looked for Gobert whenever they ventured into the lane and resorted to double-pumps and odd angles on the shots at the basket that weren’t blocked by the long-armed Frenchman.

Instead of going small, the Clippers countered Gobert with DeMarcus Cousins and Ivica Zubac, who was hampered with foul trouble in the first half.

TIP-INS

Clippers: After posting the league’s all-time best free throw percentage in the regular season (83.9%), the Clippers made 20 of 23. … Jackson’s 16 third-quarter points were the most he’s scored in a single quarter in the postseason.

Jazz: Coach Quin Snyder and owner Ryan Smith presented Gobert his third Defensive Player of the Year Award before tipoff. … The Jazz made 20 3-pointers (on 39 attempts) to set a franchise playoff record.

UNLIKELY DEFENSIVE HERO

Gobert gets attention as the defensive anchor of the Jazz, but Bojan Bogdanovic was the talk of the Utah locker room after the game.

“Bojan’s defense was superb. He’s been taking that role and taking that challenge. We make jokes with him all the time and we look at Bojan and say, ‘Hey we pay you to shoot,’” Mitchell said.

Bogdanovic, who had 16 points, picked up Leonard full court and held him to two points on 1-of-4 shooting and two turnovers in the fourth quarter.

“What Bojan did tonight should not go unnoticed. What he did epitomizes what it is when you talk about a warrior,” Snyder said, noting his defense was stellar even after turning his ankle.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Basketball, AP Sports - NBA
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Golden Knights top Avalanche 6-3, reach Stanley Cup semis
Alex Pietrangelo scored his first goal of the postseason to break a tie and the Vegas Golden Knights defeated the Colorado Avalanche 6-3 in Game 6 to advance to the Stanley Cup semifinals
1:29AM ( 4 minutes ago )
Crime leads voter concerns as NYC mayoral primary approaches
The Democratic primary race for New York City mayor is nearing the finish line with a surge in shootings pushing public safety to the top of some voters' concerns
1:25AM ( 9 minutes ago )
Mitchell has 37, Jazz beat Clippers 117-111 for 2-0 lead
Donovan Mitchell scored 37 points and the Utah Jazz forced nine straight misses down the stretch to outlast the Los Angeles Clippers 117-111 and take a 2-0 lead in their Western Conference semifinal series
1:24AM ( 9 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Sam Mewis scores in U.S. women's 1-0 win over Portugal
Sam Mewis scored in the 76th minute and the U.S. national team beat Portugal 1-0 in the Summer Series on Thursday night
12:13AM ( 1 hour ago )
Bucks blow big lead, then rally to edge Nets 86-83 in Game 3
Jrue Holiday made a go-ahead driving layup with 11.4 seconds left and the Milwaukee Bucks edged the Brooklyn Nets 86-83 in Game 3 after two blowout losses in New York
11:59PM ( 1 hour ago )
5 women win field-event titles at NCAA outdoor championship
Ohio State’s Adelaide Aquilla won the NCAA outdoor women’s shot put title Thursday night, edging Wisconsin’s Josie Schaefer with a mark of 62 feet, 3 1/4 inches on her final attempt at newly renovated Hayward Field
11:15PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Sports
Hawks, Nuggets hope home court provides edge in semifinals
The Atlanta Hawks will attempt to extend their 13-game home winning streak when they play the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference semifinal
5:30PM ( 8 hours ago )
USA Basketball sets plan for Olympic camps in Las Vegas
The last stop for USA Basketball before the Tokyo Olympics will be Las Vegas
8:06AM ( 17 hours ago )
Lawyers: Avenatti shamed, merits leniency for Nike extortion
Lawyers for Michael Avenatti say he should spend no more than six months behind bars after a jury concluded he tried to extort $25 million from Nike
6:01AM ( 19 hours ago )
AP Online Basketball
Heat's Riley fined $25,000 for remarks about a LeBron return
Miami Heat President Pat Riley has been fined $25,000 by the NBA for being too clear that he’d eagerly welcome a reunion with LeBron James
2:08PM ( 1 day ago )
Donovan Mitchell scores 45, rallies Jazz past the Clippers
Donovan Mitchell scored 45 points to lead the Utah Jazz to a 112-109 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinals series
2:17AM ( 1 day ago )
Shake Milton saves Sixers as Philly evens series with Hawks
Joel Embiid had 40 points and 13 rebounds and Shake Milton buried a 32-footer and scored 14 points in an electrifying stretch off the bench to lead the Philadelphia 76ers past the Atlanta Hawks 118-102
11:30PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Sports - NBA
Golden Knights top Avalanche 6-3, reach Stanley Cup semis
Alex Pietrangelo scored his first goal of the postseason to break a tie and the Vegas Golden Knights defeated the Colorado Avalanche 6-3 in Game 6 to advance to the Stanley Cup semifinals
1:29AM ( 4 minutes ago )
Crime leads voter concerns as NYC mayoral primary approaches
The Democratic primary race for New York City mayor is nearing the finish line with a surge in shootings pushing public safety to the top of some voters' concerns
1:25AM ( 9 minutes ago )
Photos show Chinese rover on dusty, rocky Martian surface
The dusty, rocky Martian surface and a Chinese rover and lander bearing small national flags were seen in photos the rover took on the red planet
12:58AM ( 35 minutes ago )
Olympic, professional boxing champ Shields wins MMA debut
Claressa Shields won her MMA debut with a third round TKO victory over Brittney Elkin
12:55AM ( 39 minutes ago )
Asian shares mixed after US inflation jumps 5% in May
Shares are mostly higher in Asia after the S&P 500 index notched another record high despite a surge in U.S. consumer prices in May
12:49AM ( 44 minutes ago )