Playoff Push: Utah Jazz take Commanding lead over Clippers

Playoff Push: Utah Jazz take Commanding lead over Clippers

by Daniel Olsen

The Utah Jazz lead came in waves. They led by as many as 21 at the start of the third quarter only to watch it evaporate late in the game. It still ended with a 117-111 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers. With that, the Jazz take a 2-0 lead in the second round of the NBA Playoffs. It’s time to break down just how that happened.

Jordan Clarkson owns the bench

It was a forgettable night for everyone on the Jazz bench. That is, everyone except Jordan Clarkson. He was the only player in the second unit to score. He tallied 24 points on the night. He tied for a game high six made threes on the night. Fans seemed to get up on their feet and put three fingers up in the air every time he let it fly. Without Clarkson, the Jazz would have struggled considerably when their starters rested.

Paul George still haunted by Jazz

The overrated chants only got louder as George continued to not live up to his Playoff P moniker he created. His three-point percentage is the lowest it’s been in a postseason since his second year in the NBA. 31 percent from downtown isn’t going to cut it for a sidekick on a championship team.

Donovan Mitchell continues to lead team

Once again, the best player on the court was Donovan Mitchell. Unlike last game, he got hot scoring early and distributed more to his teammates late. He scored a game high 37 points and 27 of those came by halftime. Near the end of the game, he took a hard fall and was slow to get up. Luckily, he was able to split his free throws and finish the final seconds of the game. He even said he’d be happy to do a sprint during the postgame interview to prove how good he was feeling.

Next up

The Jazz will head to Los Angeles to play the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 3 of this series. The tip-off will take place at the Staples Center at 6:30 PM Mountain Time on Saturday, June 12, 2021. The game can be viewed on ABC or on the local Jazz station. The radio broadcast will be on The Zone Sports Network.

Quick Notes

• The Jazz are now 12-5 vs the Clippers in the postseason.

• This is the first time that both teams have met a series beyond the first round.

• The Jazz are 3-1 all time vs the Clippers in Game 2 of a playoff series.

• Reggie Jackson, Paul George and Kawhi Leonard combined for 77 points. The rest of the Clippers combined for just 34 points.

• Last year the Jazz set a franchise playoff threes record with 16 in a game vs the Denver Nuggets. They have eclipsed that in all but one of their playoff games so far this year.

• According to StatMuse, Bojan Bogdanovic locked down Kawhi Leonard in the fourth quarter.

• Rudy Gobert has notched a double-double in five of the seven playoff games this year.

Featured image courtesy Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

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