Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, left, shoots as Los Angeles Clippers forward Nicolas Batum, right, and guard Terance Mann defend during the second half of Game 3 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series Saturday, June 12, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
JAZZ AT CLIPPERS
Game 4, 10 p.m. EDT, TNT
—NEED TO KNOW: Utah had won six consecutive games before No. 4 seed Los Angeles made a strong answer by beating the Jazz 132-106 on Saturday night. The top-seeded Jazz lead the series 2-1.
The lopsided loss was bad enough for Utah. The sight of Donovan Mitchell limping to the tunnel after tweaking his ankle in the fourth period added more gloom to the defeat.
Mitchell returned to the bench, but not to the game. Despite the early exit, he led Utah with 30 points. It was his fifth consecutive game with 30 or more points.
The Clippers’ answer to Mitchell was a double dose of 30-point scorers. Kawhi Leonard had 34 points and Paul George added 31.
—KEEP AN EYE ON: George proved he can be a difference-maker in the series. After being taunted by fans in Utah, George delivered 20 first-half points as the Clippers flourished at home. George made 6 of 10 3s overall and added five assists and a steal.
George shot only 34.3% from the field in the first two games. With the Clippers needing a win to avoid a 3-0 series deficit, he made 12 of 24 shots in a performance which could establish momentum for Game 4.
—INJURY WATCH: Mitchell said after the game he’ll be ready for Game 4. He said he could have returned in the fourth quarter on Saturday night if the game had been closer. He had ice on the ankle as he left the bench following the game.
—PRESSURE IS ON: Utah must take better care of the ball to bounce back on Monday night. The Jazz had five players commit two or more turnovers on Saturday night. The team’s 13 turnovers led to 24 points for Los Angeles. The turnovers also contributed to the Clippers’ 44-32 edge in points in the paint.
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