Thanks to a huge 45-point performance from Donovan Mitchell, the Utah Jazz were able to pull out a 112-109 come-from-behind victory over the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 1 of their second-round series. Mitchell scored 16 of his 45 points in the fourth quarter as he hit clutch shot after clutch shot to propel Utah to victory. Mitchell did an excellent job of forcing switches and hunting mismatches in the first game, and that’s something that the Clippers will need to try to counter in the remaining games. Kawhi Leonard led the way for L.A. with 23 points in Game 1, but he shot just 9 of 19 from the floor, and his production ultimately wasn’t enough to secure a win for the Clippers. They’ll need more from him moving forward.
Here’s everything you need to know about Game 2 between the Jazz and Clippers.
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(1) Utah Jazz vs. (4) Los Angeles Clippers
- Date: Thursday, June 10 | Time: 10 p.m. ET
- Location: Vivint Arena — Salt Lake City, Utah
- TV: ESPN | Live stream: WatchESPN
- Odds: LAC +130; UTA -150 | O/U: 221 (via William Hill Sportsbook)
Featured Game | Utah Jazz vs. Los Angeles Clippers
Jazz: Utah was able to pull out a win in Game 1, but it took a herculean effort from Donovan Mitchell, and that’s not necessarily something it should bank on happening consistently. You have to assume that the Clippers will make some adjustments in terms of how they guard Mitchell to make things more difficult on him, and at that point, Utah will need others to step up. That’s where the injury to Mike Conley comes in. The veteran guard was ruled out of Game 1 with hamstring soreness, and his status moving forward in the series is a question mark. If he can play, he will provide Utah with another player capable of generating his own offense while the Clippers are focusing heavily on Mitchell. As such, Conley’s status is a central storyline for the remainder of the series.
Clippers: L.A. needs to find a way to get Paul George going. Kawhi Leonard isn’t going to be able to win the series by himself. George was inconsistent in the first round against the Mavericks, and he struggled mightily in Game 1 against the Jazz. He finished with 20 points, but shot just 4 of 17 from the floor and 3 of 8 from long range. George scored 13 of his 20 points in the first quarter, which means he scored just seven total points over the first three quarters of action. That’s not nearly enough production from someone who is supposed to be the team’s second offensive option.
In Game 2, Ty Lue should look to get George some easy opportunities early on in order to get him going. George is capable of scoring 30-plus points on a nightly basis in the postseason, and that’s the guy that the Clippers need if they’re going to get past Utah.
The Clippers fell behind the Mavericks 2-0 in the first round, and though they were ultimately able to overcome the early deficit and win the series, you’d have to think that they would like to avoid falling into a similar hole. Neither Kawhi Leonard nor Paul George had an especially good game in Game 1, while Donovan Mitchell had an amazing outing, and the game was still close. Assuming that Leonard and George play a bit better, the Clippers should be able to even up the series at 1-1. Pick: Clippers +3