Mitchell Leads Second Half Comeback, Helps Jazz Win Game 1 Over Clippers
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Donovan Mitchell played a sensational game and led the Utah Jazz in a second half comeback to beat the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals.
The Jazz hosted the Clippers at Vivint Arena for Game 1 of the semifinal round on Tuesday, June 8.
Mitchell scored a game-high 45 points and helped the Jazz overcome a double-digit deficit to beat the Clippers, 112-109.
The guard’s total gave him his fourth 40-point playoff performance and tied him with Karl Malone for the most in franchise history. Malone was in the crowd to watch Mitchell’s magic in Game 1.
How It Started
After starting the game on a 10-2 spurt, the Jazz went cold on offense.
Utah couldn’t buy a bucket and Los Angeles went on a 22-2 run.
The Jazz failed to make a field goal from Mitchell’s three-pointer at the 9:24 mark of the first quarter until Jordan Clarkson sunk a triple with 48.8 until the second quarter.
Despite the cold spell, Utah only trailed by seven points at the end of the opening 12 minutes of play.
During the second quarter, the Jazz began to find the bottom of the net. However, the Clippers did so as well.
Los Angeles took a 13-point lead into the locker room at the break.
During the first two quarters, the Jazz shot 32.7 percent overall and 26.9 percent from beyond the arc.
Mitchell led Utah with 13 points in the half.
By comparison, the Clippers shot 46.3 percent from the field, including 45.5 percent from downtown.
Luke Kennard led L.A. with 12 points at halftime.
How It Ended
The start of the third quarter was the antithesis of the first two quarter of the game.
Mitchell got things rolling and the Jazz offense took off.
The two-time All-Star scored 16 points in the quarter and helped the Jazz outscore the Clippers by 13 points in the first 12 minutes of the second half.
The Jazz knotted up the contest at 79 apiece at the end of the third quarter.
Mitchell continued to torch the Clippers in the fourth quarter, along with the assistance of Bojan Bogdanovic and Jordan Clarkson, who each connected on big shots to help the Jazz gain a 10-point lead.
Late in the contest and after the win, Mitchell received “M-V-P, M-V-P, M-V-P” chants from the crowd.
Mitchell scored 32 points in the second half.
After Los Angeles cut Utah’s lead to three with 38.4 seconds left, Gobert clinched a Jazz victory with a game-sealing block on Marcus Morris with 1.0 seconds remaining.
The Jazz ended the contest shooting 40.7 percent from the field and 17-50 for 34.0 percent from distance.
Mitchell scored his 45 points on 16-30 shooting, including 6-15 on three-pointers. He added three rebounds, five assists, one steal, and one block in 37 minutes.
Bogdanovic and Clarkson each poured in 18 points.
Gobert had a double-double with 10 points and 12 boards. The center finished with three blocks.
Joe Ingles started in place of the injured Mike Conley, who missed the game with hamstring tightness, and scored eight points.
Los Angeles Clippers
On two days rest, the Clippers shot 42.4 percent overall and 16-42 for 38.1 percent from deep.
Los Angeles’ stars, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, scored 23 points and 20 points, respectively.
Kennard added 18 points off the bench.
With the win, the Jazz took a 1-0 series lead.
Game 2 of the series will take place in Salt Lake City, Utah on Thursday, June 10 at 8 p.m. (MDT). The game will broadcast on ESPN and 97.5 FM.