Jazz List Conley As Questionable For Game Two Vs. Clippers
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz have listed Mike Conley as questionable ahead of Thursday night’s game two against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Conley missed game one after reaggravating his hamstring in the team’s game five close-out victory over the Memphis Grizzlies last Wednesday.
The Jazz beat the Clippers 112-109 despite playing without their All-Star guard, fueled by Donovan Mitchell who scored 45 points in the come from behind victory.
Jazz Miss Conley’s Balance
Though the Jazz beat the Clippers in game one, it took a herculean effort from Mitchell to claw back from a 14 point second-half deficit. The two-time All-Star scored 32 of his 45 points in the second half to will the Jazz to victory over the tired Clippers roster.
Mitchell, who shot 16-30 from the floor, along with Derrick Favors (who shot 1-1) were the only Jazz players to shoot at least 50 percent in game one as the team was plagued by poor shooting, and bogged down by the Clippers defense.
Joe Ingles who started in Conley’s plate shot just 3-12 from the field including 1-8 from three, a far cry from the 49 percent field goal and 45 percent three-point percentages he shot during the regular season.
Conley has been a steadying force for the Jazz throughout the season who can both make plays for his teammates and create shots of his own when needed.
Against the Grizzlies in the first round, Conley averaged 20.0 points, 10.3 assists, and 4.8 rebounds before re-injuring his hamstring in the first quarter of game five.
In the first half of Tuesday’s game, the Jazz struggled to get the ball into the paint, settling for difficult off-the-dribble three-pointers leading to a stretch where the team missed 20 consecutive shots.
The Jazz hit only one two-point field goal in the first quarter, a 23-foot jump shot from Ingles with his toes on the three-point line. It wasn’t until nearly four minutes into the second quarter that the Jazz converted their first looking the paint.
After winning game one, the Jazz could choose to be extra cautious with Conley, understanding any further setbacks could cause serious harm to their championship hopes, but also risk passing on the opportunity to take a 2-0 lead against the talented Clippers roster.
Conley was listed as questionable on Monday before game one but was ultimately ruled out Tuesday morning.
Paul George Struggles In Utah
Jazz fans didn’t let a struggling Paul George off the hook during his poor outing in game one in Salt Lake City.
George shot just 4-17 from the floor, but scored 20 points, 13 of which came in the fourth quarter, helping to trim the Jazz lead from 10 to three in the final minute of the game.
During George’s shooting struggles, chants of “overrated” and “Pushoff P” rained down from the raucous Jazz crowd.
Despite George’s struggles, the Clippers jumped on the Jazz in the first half, outscoring, outshooting, outrebounding, and outplaying the home team over the first 24 minutes of the game.
The Clippers built a 60-47 lead going into the half, but fell victim to tired legs having played game seven against the Dallas Mavericks two days earlier.
Though it was Mitchell and George who garnered the majority of the headlines after game one, Thursday’s ket matchup will pit Jazz center Rudy Gobert against the Clippers’ Ivica Zubac.
The Clippers started Tuesday’s game with Marcus Morris at the center position but got excellent production from Zubac off the bench. In just 20 minutes, Zubac scored 11 points, grabbed six rebounds, grabbed six rebounds, handed out three assists, and blocked three assists while drawing numerous fouls on the Jazz frontcourt.
Gobert managed just 10 points and 12 rebounds in 33 minutes, and played nearly half of the fourth quarter with five fouls but did record the game-winning block on Morris’ three-point shot in the final seconds of the game to preserve the Jazz win.
The Jazz offense struggled until Mitchell was able to score in the paint, an area where Gobert’s size could help collapse the Clippers’ lengthy defense in game two.
Clippers Jazz Game Two Broadcast
The Jazz and Clippers will tip-off game two on Thursday at 8 pm MT. The game will be broadcast on ESPN.