(4) Clippers (0-1) at (1) Jazz (1-0)
- Time: 7PM PST – 9PM CST – 10PM EST
- Place: Vivint Arena, Salt Lake City, UT
- TV: ESPN
Donovan Mitchell arrived at the dance in the third quarter on Tuesday as he scored 32 of his 45 points in the second half and flipped the game as Utah took a come from behind 112-109 win over the Clippers in Game 1 of the best of seven series.
Mitchell finished 16-of-30 from the field and 11-of-16 after halftime. He and Jordan Clarkson hit six threes each as Utah was 17-of-50 from three-point range.
The Clippers led 84-82 midway through the fourth quarter before Bojan Bogdanovic made a pair of threes in a 21-9 run to give Utah a 103-93 lead with 5:22 to play.
Los Angeles fought back throughout the fourth quarter and had a chance to tie and put the game into overtime, but Marcus Morris missed a three as time ran out.
The Jazz led 10-2 right out of the chute, but the Clippers went on a 22-2 run, but Luke Kennard hit three triples in that run to help LA to a 25-18 lead after one. The Jazz were ice cold from the field in the first quarter as they missed 20 shots in a row.
The Clippers’ biggest lead was 14 which they held twice before halftime.
Kawhi Leonard led the Clippers with 23 points while Paul George netted 20 and Kennard finished with 18.
Clarkson and Bogdanovic added 18 each for Utah.
Jazz point guard Mike Conley sat out with a hamstring injury.
Injuries to Key Contributors
- Los Angeles Clippers – Serge Ibaka (back) – Doubtful
- Utah Jazz – Mike Conley (hamstring) – Questionable
Clippers (43-35-2, ATS):
- The Clippers are 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of LA’s last 5 contests
- The Clips are 3-9-1 ATS in their last 13 games
Jazz (45-31-2, ATS):
- Utah is 4-0-1 ATS in it’s last 5 games
- The total has gone OVER in 5 of Utah’s last 6 games
- The UNDER has been the call in 5 of the last 7 Jazz-Clippers games
The Clippers suffered in the second half in part because the Jazz stepped up on the defensive end, but also in shot selection as they were 16-of-43 from the field. When Donovan Mitchell started to perk, it felt like the Clippers were hurrying too much rather than letting the game come to them.
Marcus Morris was 1-for-10 in the second half and Paul George was 3-of-10. Morris was also only 1-of-9 from three for the game and finished with nine points. Morris is only averaging 11.1 points per game in the playoffs and shooting 38.6 percent from the floor.
The Clippers not only need him on the defensive end, but he is going to have to be a scorer alongside Leonard and George if LA is too advance. Morris was LA’s third-leading scorer (13.4 ppg) and shot 47.3 percent from long distance during the season.
Key Clippers Stat:
The Clippers led 60-47 at halftime and lost their attack mode on both ends of the floor which had gotten them the 13-point lead in the first place. Other than Leonard, who was 7-of-13 in the second half, the rest of the team was 9-of-30. Even at that, the Clippers had the last short by Morris that fell short. LA has to basically put together two halves where they are consistently in attack-mode.
The Clippers used their bench liberally as Rajon Rondo played 29 minutes and Luke Kennard totaled 28. They outscored the Jazz, 42-23 off the bench as they combined to make 14-of-25 baskets and six triples, four by Kennard.
|Teams||Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|Clippers||+3 (-110)||+130||O 222.5 (-110)|
|Jazz||-3 (-110)||-150||U 222.5 (-110)|
The averages weren’t great but as long as three is greater than two, Coach Quin Snyder will take it. Utah made 17-of-50 threes (34%) although the Jazz was just 36-of-85 (42.3%) from the floor. The Jazz was fourth in the NBA in three-point percentage during the regular season at 38.9 percent, so look for shooters like Joe Ingles, who was 1-of-8, and Royce O’Neale (0-of-3) to pick things up.
Ingles has struggled from the floor in the postseason, so the Jazz hope Mike Conley is back and able to function as normal, so Ingles can go back to a wing where he is most comfortable.
Key Jazz Stat:
Bojan Bogdanovic has averaged 18.3 points so far in Utah’s six playoff games after averaging 17.0 per game during the season and shooting 39 percent from long range. Six of their seven top scorers are all consistent three-point shooters which puts the pressure on a defense in trying to analyze matchups. The Clippers had on of the better three-point defenses all through the regular season as they held opponents to roughly 12-of-33 per night. Last night’s 17-of-50 was light years away from what they gave up during the regular season.
Jordan Clarkson is clutch as we saw last night as he once again came off the bench and scored 18 points, which is what he averaged as the Jazz’s second-leading scorer. He had struggled with his shot in the series vs. Memphis, but he found ways to get to the free-throw line, where he is currently 21-of-21 in the playoffs.
Winner: Jazz (-3) 116, Clippers 110