Clippers Look To Even Series In Game Four Against Jazz

Jun 13, 2021, 8:26 PM | Updated: Jun 14, 2021, 1:07 pm
Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard drives against the Utah Jazz (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Ge...
Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard drives against the Utah Jazz (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Los Angeles Clippers will look to even the series with the Utah Jazz in game four on Monday night.

The Clippers took game three in Los Angeles on Saturday earning their first victory over the series after losing games one and two in Salt Lake City.

The Jazz will have an opportunity to close out the series Wednesday night in Utah if they can steal game four from the Clippers on the road.

Jazz Beat Up Backcourt

Mike Conley is listed as questionable for the fourth consecutive game after reaggravating his hamstring in the Jazz opening-round series against the Memphis Grizzlies.

Now, it’s clear that Donovan Mitchell is playing at less than 100 percent after leaving game three early in the fourth quarter and failing to check back in over the final stretch of the game.

Though Mitchell said he could have returned had the score been closer, he also dodged offering specifics about his injury after the game.

“It’s when I land, spin — just trying to manage it,” Mitchell said of the injury. “I don’t really know what else to tell you, I don’t want to say too much. So, just the landing, but I’m good I’ll be ready for game four.”

Mitchell has clearly been playing through injury throughout the playoffs since return in game two against the Grizzlies. The guard has been laid up several times during the postseason either limping off the floor or needing extra time to get back into his feet after taking falls over the last seven games.

Even with the injury, Mitchell is playing at a superstar level in the postseason. The guard is averaging 32.3 points, 5.1 assists, and 3.3 rebound while shooting 47 percent from the floor and 43 percent from three.

The guard will have to continue to play at this level until Conley returns if the Jazz want to advance to the Conference Finals.

George And Leonard Bounce Back At Home

Both Paul George and Kawhi Leonard had their best games of the series after returning to Los Angeles for game three.

George scored a series-high 31 points while Leonard scored 34 points, his most against the Jazz in the playoffs.

George was the main option for the Clippers for the first half of the game, scoring 20 points on 8-16 shooting. Leonard was the Clippers go-to scorer in the second half, scoring 24 points on an incredible 10-12 shooting while grabbing six rebounds, and handing out three assists.

The Clippers also got better performances from their supporting cast than they did in games one and two.

Nicolas Batum scored 17 points, more than double the 13 total points he amassed in Salt Lake City, while Reggie Jackson added 17 points on an ultra efficient 6-8 shooting from the floor including 5-6 from three.

While the Jazz can survive big nights from either the Clippers stars or the supporting cast, they’ll have to figure out how to throw one of the two off if they hope to steal game four in Los Angeles.

Key Matchup

Game four’s key matchup will pair the Jazz’s Joe Ingles against the Clippers Jackson. Ingles has been a major spark for the Jazz in games two and three, averaging 19 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 3.0 assists while shooting a staggering 62 percent from the floor and 60 percent from the three-point line.

Ingles best work came in the second half of game two after the Clippers shifted the majoirty of their defensive effort towards Mitchell, opening space for the Australian guard to iniate the team’s offense.

Jackson has also been terrific since fouling out of game one against the Jazz, averaging 23.0 points, 2.5 assists, and 2.0 rebounds while shooting an even more impressive 63 percent from the floor and 64 percent from the three-point line.

The first team to slow the other non-All-Star backcourt member will likely find themselves with a significantly easier pathway to victory in game four.

Jazz And Clippres Game Four Broadcast

The Jazz and Clippers will tip off game four at 8 pm MT, the game will be broadcast on TNT.

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Clippers Look To Even Series In Game Four Against Jazz