Rudy Gobert blocked a 3-point attempt by Marcus Morris Sr. with a second left, and the Utah Jazz escaped Game 1 of their second-round playoff series against the LA Clippers with a 112-109 win at Salt Lake City’s Vivint Arena.
Here are three keys from the game.
The Jazz led eight with 1:19 to play, but the Clippers crept back in on buckets from Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. After Donovan Mitchell missed a shot with 19 seconds left, LA chose not to call a timeout.
Utah defended possession well, but let Morris Sr. open to a three-pointer that would have evened things out, but Gobert recovered well on him with a false pump and a shot attempt, blocking the attempt to seal the win.
RUDY GOBERT BLOCKS MORRIS FTW pic.twitter.com/u5XhUIVFn3
While Gobert made the ultimate game-saving play, Mitchell was incredible in the second half after a rough first half. For 24 minutes, the Jazz trailed 60-47 and Mitchell had 13 points on 14 shots. However, in the third quarter, Mitchell scored 13 points and then was sensational in the fourth with 19. In all, Mitchell equaled his jersey number with 45 points on just 30 shots, and his play seemed to wake up the Jazz.
After conceding 60 points in the first half, Utah clamped down defensively in the second, allowing only 49. The Jazz were especially strong in the third quarter when they only got 19 against. That effort helped kick-start their attack as they climbed out of 13. -point deficit at halftime to lock things in on the way into the fourth quarter.
The Jazz completely turned the game around in the fourth quarter. They did it with good defense and great shots as they scored 24 points just over halfway through the fourth quarter.
The Jazz had struggled tremendously in the first half and flipped a switch at either end of the floor in the third quarter to strike back. Offensively, Donovan Mitchell was great, as he scored 16 points. Defensively, Utah LA only held 19 points, six of them in the last two minutes of the frame.
The Clippers beat the Jazz on both sides of the floor, even as Utah’s offense got better in the second quarter. Offensively, LA shoots nearly 48 percent of the field, compared to just 32 percent for Utah. The Clippers made 11 out of 23 three-point attempts, while the Jazz made just 7 out of 27. While the Jazz look good from 3 and just miss, LA makes it hard for Utah to get in.
The first quarter can be narrowed down to one stat: the Jazz shot a horrendous 5 out of 28, including a whopping 21 consecutive misses. Donovan Mitchell and Jordan Clarkson are a combined 4 of 16 from the field, and Bojan Bogdanovic, Royce O’Neale and Georges Niang are a combined 0 of 8.
The Jazz missed 20 shots straight and 14 3-pointers and is just 7 behind. That’s actually very good