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Donovan Mitchell drops 37 stars, Jazz goes 2-0 against Clippers

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Donovan Mitchell drops 37 stars, Jazz goes 2-0 against Clippers

Donovan Mitchell # 45 of the Utah Jazz celebrates a basket in Game Two of the Western Conference second-round playoff series against the LA Clippers at Vivint Smart Home Arena on June 10, 2021 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Alex Goodlett / Getty Images / AFP

Donovan Mitchell followed up his Game 1 masterpiece with a 37-point performance Thursday night in Salt Lake City to lead the Utah Jazz to a 117-111 victory and a 2-0 lead over the Los Angeles Clippers in the semifinals. of the Western Conference.

Mitchell scored 27 points in the first half, helping Utah establish momentum early on, then hitting a decisive shot in the closing moments to help the Jazz win their sixth straight game this postseason.

Jordan Clarkson added 24 points for the Jazz. Clarkson, the Sixth Man of the Year, and Mitchell each scored six 3-pointers as Utah tied a franchise-record in the playoffs with 20 from beyond the arc on a fiery 51.3 percent shooting.

Joe Ingles started in place of injured All-Star point guard Mike Conley, who missed his second straight game with a right hamstring strain. Ingles scored 19 with four 3s, while his starting teammate Bojan Bogdanovic added 16 points with three triples.

Jazz center Rudy Gobert received his third NBA Defensive Player of the Year trophy before the game, then showed why he earned it with another solid defensive performance. Gobert finished with 13 points, 20 rebounds, three blocked shots and two steals.

Reggie Jackson lit up the Jazz with 29 points and Paul George scored 27, but the Clippers didn’t have enough left in the tank after recovering from a 21-point deficit in the second half to momentarily take the lead in the fourth quarter. .

Kawhi Leonard added 21 points for the Clippers, who are down 2-0 for the second straight series. This time, however, LA will return home for Game 3, which will take place Saturday night at the Staples Center.

The third quarter was quite a roller coaster ride. The Jazz exploded to their biggest lead at 76-55 only to see the margin narrow to four points later in the quarter as Jackson and George warmed up. The Clippers used a suffocating zone defense to quell the Jazz’s hot shots.

After Utah took its biggest lead, LA responded with a 12-0 run.

Clarkson hit consecutive 3s to help Utah slow the Clippers’ momentum, and the Jazz took a seven-point lead in the fourth quarter.

The Clippers continued their rise early in the final period when Leonard stole the ball at one end and ran down the court to hit it at the other end. Jackson then hit back-to-back triples as Los Angeles took their only lead of the game, 101-99.

Utah called a timeout and quickly regained the lead at 104-101 after Ingles took a shot that hit the top of the backboard and fell to the net and Bogdanovic followed with a triple.

The Jazz stretched the lead to 113-103 with three minutes to go after a three-point play by Gobert and 3 by Royce O’Neale and Ingles.

However, as in Game 1, the Clippers did it again with a dunk by Jackson and a three-point play by George. But Mitchell responded with a hard shove and a free throw to give Utah enough margin.

Mitchell started where he left off in Game 1, hitting shot after shot to lead the Jazz to an early lead. He scored 14 points in the first quarter and then added 13 in the second quarter, including a 31-foot triple that gave Utah a 13-point lead at halftime.

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