Don’t worry, jazz fans. Your favorite star escort is in a good mood.
In the closing seconds of Utah’s 117-111 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night, Donovan Mitchell ran to Joe Ingles looking to take control of the ball. However, before reaching Ingles, Mitchell collided with Paul George and quickly leaned into his right leg.
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Mitchell’s teammates helped him off the court, but Mitchell didn’t seem comfortable putting weight immediately on that leg. ESPN reporter Cassidy Hubbarth tweeted that Mitchell later had a “visible limp” as he walked to the locker room.
As ESPN analyst Doris Burke noted in the broadcast, the obvious concern was that Mitchell had re-injured his right ankle in some way. The 24-year-old missed the last 16 games of the Jazz regular season and Game 1 of the team’s first-round series against the Grizzlies while recovering from a sprained right ankle.
During his post-game media availability, Mitchell tried to raise any concerns about his health.
“They hit me and it hurt. But now I’m fine,” Mitchell said. “I came in here. If you want me to run for you, I can. I’m fine. I think the most important thing is, you know, it happens. I’m thankful it wasn’t bad. Go ahead and get ready for Game 3.”
That’s good news for jazz because they can’t afford to lose Mitchell. They are now 6-0 in the postseason when Mitchell is available; his only loss in the playoffs came in the first game of the first-round series that he missed. He scored 37 points in Game 2, making him the first Utah player with at least 35 points in consecutive playoff games since Karl Malone did it in 1988. through ESPN statistics and information.
If Mitchell is still in pain from the blow, he won’t have much time to recover. Utah will head to Los Angeles for a pivotal third game on Saturday.