NBA

NBA playoffs 2021: Jazz's Mitchell says he'll be ready for Game 4 after exiting loss

By Sports Desk June 13, 2021

Utah Jazz All-Star Donovan Mitchell insisted he will be "fine" for Game 4 after exiting the team's loss to the Los Angeles Clippers due to ankle pain.

Mitchell left Saturday's 132-106 defeat against the Clippers because of pain in his right ankle as the top-seeded Jazz had their lead reduced to 2-1 in the Western Conference semi-finals.

Jazz star Mitchell finished with 30 points in Game 3 on the road in Los Angeles, where he exited with less than eight minutes remaining and did not return.

Mitchell missed the final 16 games of the NBA's regular season and Utah's playoff opener due to an ankle sprain, but he allayed concerns afterwards.

"I feel like I was able to go back, but no need to risk it down 16, 18 at that point," Mitchell said. "I'll be fine."

"It's when I land," Mitchell said. "It's been just trying to manage it. I don't really know what else to tell you; I don't want to say too much.

"It was just the landing, but I'm good. I'll be ready for Game 4."

Prior to Saturday's matchup, Mitchell scored 37 points in Game 2 and was averaging 1.00 points per minute this postseason (32.7 per game in 32.7 minutes per game). In his career, the Jazz guard has averaged 0.78 points per minute in the playoffs, just behind the all-time record of 0.80 by Michael Jordan (minimum 1000 minutes).

Mitchell added: "Obviously, it's not going to be 100 per cent, but you go out there and you try to compete. Things like this are going to happen.

"You just got to find ways to manage it and get out there and get ready. It's not going to be perfect, but it is what it is."

"He's in good shape," Jazz head coach Quin Snyder said. "He could have gone back in the game, but at that point, the lead had stretched. In fact, while we were talking, I think [Clippers star] Kawhi [Leonard] hit a 3.

"That was my decision not to put him back in at that point. The game had gotten away from us at that point, but he's fine."

According to Stats Perform, the Clippers became the first team to score 130-plus points in a Game 3 win after trailing a series 2-0 since the Jazz in the 1985 Western Conference semis.

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