Donovan Mitchell scores 45, rallies Jazz previous the Clippers

SALT LAKE CITY — Donovan Mitchell didn’t really feel like his typical self for a complete half.

The Utah Jazz guard struggled with a bout of nausea and light-headedness earlier than halftime Tuesday night time. He felt even worse after his particular person efficiency on offense and protection.

“I didn’t do numerous issues proper for my crew within the first half, and it ate at me,” Mitchell mentioned.

Mitchell did nearly all the things proper within the second half.

He scored 45 factors and lifted the Jazz to a 112-109 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers in Sport 1 of their Western Convention semifinals collection.

Mitchell imposed his will offensively after halftime, scoring 32 factors to rally the Jazz from a double-digit deficit. Jordan Clarkson and Bojan Bogdanovic chipped in 18 factors apiece. Mitchell and Clarkson mixed for 12 3-pointers.

Kawhi Leonard scored 23 factors to guide Los Angeles. Paul George chipped in 20 factors and 11 rebounds. Luke Kennard added 18 factors whereas making a team-high 4 3-pointers.

Utah and Los Angeles will play Sport 2 on Thursday in Salt Lake Metropolis.

“We had a reasonably good rhythm within the first half,” Leonard mentioned. “We got here within the third quarter fairly flat, however they’re good defensive crew. They performed exhausting tonight, they usually fought the entire recreation.”

The Jazz trailed by as many as 14 factors earlier than rallying and overtaking the Clippers within the fourth quarter. Utah took the lead for good on a 21-9 run bookended by 3-pointers from Bogdanovic. His second one gave the Jazz a 103-93 lead with 5:22 remaining.

George hit a 3-pointer to chop the deficit to 112-109 within the closing minute. However Rudy Gobert blocked a possible game-tying shot from Marcus Morris with a second left to protect the victory.

“Personally, I take pleasure in these moments,” Gobert mentioned. “I embrace these moments.”

The Jazz went ice chilly on offense throughout the first quarter. Utah jumped out to a 10-2 lead after Mitchell made a pair of 3-pointers. Over the subsequent 8 1/2 minutes, the Jazz missed 20 consecutive pictures. 15 of the 20 pictures have been contested by the Clippers. Utah began 3-of-25 from the sector earlier than Clarkson buried a nook three to interrupt the ice.

“We’ve had video games the place we’ve not shot it nicely,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder mentioned. “These are the video games the place you must depend on your protection. The factor I’m happy with is we didn’t cease taking pictures. We tried to get higher appears to be like.”

Los Angeles capitalized on the prolonged drought with a 22-2 run. Kennard buried three 3-pointers to place the Clippers in entrance 24-12 late within the quarter.

Sizzling exterior taking pictures buoyed Los Angeles within the second quarter and saved Utah at a distance. The Clippers went 7 of 12 from 3-point vary throughout the quarter. 4 of these baskets got here throughout a stretch wherein they scored on six straight possessions, culminating in Rajon Rondo’s exterior basket, to increase their result in 51-37.

“We did an ideal job within the first half after which got here out in third quarter a bit of sluggish, not making the fitting play and never making any pictures whereas they type of received going offensively,” Clippers coach Tyronne Lue mentioned.

Mitchell took over from the beginning of the third quarter. He scored 4 straight baskets to open the quarter and totaled 16 factors in 9 minutes. His effort helped the Jazz regain a 72-71 lead on the finish of a 13-4 run. Mitchell scored back-to-back baskets to gasoline the run and assisted the go-ahead layup from Royce O’Neale.

“I’m simply pleased with how I used to be in a position to management the tempo,” Mitchell mentioned. “That’s one thing I’ve tried to make strides with all through my profession.”

TIP-INS

Clippers: Serge Ibaka (again spasms) didn’t play. … DeMarcus Cousins made his postseason debut and completed with six factors and three rebounds in 4 minutes. Cousins didn’t seem in any of the first-round video games in opposition to Dallas. … George went 4-of-17 from the sector.

Jazz: Mike Conley (proper hamstring pressure) didn’t play. … Mitchell shot 11-of-17 from the sector within the second half. … Gobert and O’Neale mixed for 23 rebounds. … Utah didn’t rating a two-point basket throughout the first quarter, going 0-of-8 contained in the 3-point line.

FULL HOUSE

The Jazz hosted their first full capability crowd at Vivint Area since March 9, 2020. The world holds 18,300. It created a raucous ambiance to the purpose the place the group noise drowned out commentary from the TNT crew calling the sport at sure factors.

“We actually felt it all through the entire recreation. It wasn’t simply on the finish or in the important thing moments,” Gobert mentioned. “Having that crowd behind us actually gave us a giant elevate.”

DEFENSIVE SHIFT

Gobert’s end-of-game block underscored a dominant defensive effort for the Jazz all through the second half. Utah allowed simply six whole baskets within the third quarter and held the Clippers to 5-of-19 taking pictures from the perimeter over the ultimate 20 minutes. The Jazz additionally edged Los Angeles 24-18 in rebounds after halftime.

“They play bodily, so we positively should be extra bodily subsequent recreation, get to our spots, get to the basket, preserve attacking the paint,” Kennard mentioned. “They’re making us work.”

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Extra AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports activities

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