Los Angeles, USA, Jun 8 (EFE).- Donovan Mitchell came to the rescue of the Utah Jazz, scoring 45 points against Los Angeles Clippers to seal a 112-109 victory in the first game of the Western Conference semifinals at the Salt Lake City’s Vivint Arena on Tuesday.
After the Clippers dominated the first half of the game, Mitchell powered through with 32 points in the final two quarters, during which he was absolutely unstoppable.
However, the Clippers demonstrated an impressive competitive instinct and kept the game alive until the final whistle, when Rudy Gobert’s successful block of a shot by Marcus Morris sealed a Jazz win.
The Utah team, which finished the regular season with an impressive 52-20 win-loss record, was well supported by Jordan Clarkson and Bojan Bogdanovic contributing 18 points each.
The home team also had the advantage of a six-day period to rest and recuperate after their first round victory over the Memphis Grizzlies (4-1).
On the other hand, the Clippers came with tired legs, having played their previous game on Sunday, when they managed to outdo the Dallas Mavericks (4-3) in a neck-and-neck contest.
Nevertheless, the Clippers showed a formidable spirit, making it clear that the semifinal would be no walkover.
Kawhi Leonard was the leader of the attack for the visiting team with 23 points and seven rebounds, Paul George contributed with 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Luke Kennard too made an impression coming off the bench and posting 18 points.
Mike Conley and Serge Ibaka missed the game for the Jazz and Clippers, respectively, due to injuries.
The second game of the Western Conference semifinals between the two teams will be played on Thursday at the same venue in Utah’s Salt Lake City. EFE