Mitchell and Clarkson surged the lead in the third quarter and Jazz tied 1-1 series against the Nuggets
Donovan Mitchell scored 21 of his total 30 points (shooting 10-out of-14 from the field and 6-of-7 from the perimeter) to boost Jazz to a 20+ points lead in the third quarter, Jordan Clarkson came off the bench to add a playoff-best 24 points and four rebounds (8/15 4/7 4/4 FT) and Utah Jazz tied the series 1–1 with a victory 124–105 over the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday.
Mitchell has said multiple times before that his main goal right now is to become a great passer and he is definitely getting there. He has matured a lot and to think that he has been in the league for only three years and has turned himself into a star, a player on whom coach Quin Snyder can rely on and trust. Mitchell has proved himself and has developed his game a lot and keeps looking for the little things that he can add to his game and benefit his team.
“The biggest thing for me is reading the situation,” Mitchell explained. “My first years, I kind of saw the rim, being a scorer. I prided myself over the quarantine just how to become play-maker. Find a way to get the team involved. It may not always be scoring. I think today, just trusted my teammates.”
Mitchell scored 57 points in the first game and even he had a historical game and his stats were off the roof, he didn’t share the ball as much as he should and wasn’t as productive as he was tonight. He took fewer shots and aided his team to move the ball faster and have a better shot selection.
Jazz shot 51.7% from the floor. They also had 32 assists and hit 20 3-pointers. Furthermore, they turned the ball over only six times whereas in Game 1 they did it 15 times.
“We stayed locked in and communicated. That’s what we need the whole series,” Mitchell said. “We need the same energy and intensity.”
Nuggets rookie Michael Porter Jr. had 28 points, six rebounds and six threes and Nikola Jokic added 28 points and 11 rebounds. Jamal Murray had 14 points, three rebounds and four assists and Monte Morris had 10 points and four assists coming off the bench.
If we take into consideration all the regular-season games and Game 1 of the playoffs, this one was a rare blowout but coach Malone doesn’t worry about the loss because he knows that they will watch film and pinpoint their mistakes and figure out how to avoid repeating them in the following games of the series.
“All of our games are usually close games and this one got away from us,” Malone said. “We have to learn from it. We have to look at it. We can’t be afraid to look into the mirror and see why we lost. But once we do that let’s turn the page.”
“If we want to do big things out here it’s going to take a team effort and we’re all going to have to step up in a major way,” Porter said.
Guard Mike Conley could back for the next game. He returned to the NBA bubble Monday night after leaving for the birth of his son and is going through a four-day quarantine.
“It only adds positives having a player like Mike Conley, and a leader like Mike Conley, back with us,” said center Rudy Gobert, who had 19 points.
Mitchell: ‘’I am glad that Mike (Conley) is coming back because we have another three games.’’
For the first two games, rookie Juwan Morgan replaced him and played well but he didn’t really get a lot of playing time. He played for 25 minutes in the first game and only for 14 minutes in the second game. Now that Mike Conley will come back to the starting lineup, Morgan’s minutes will surely be reduced but he will be put in the game when Conley needs to sit and rest a little bit.
Game 3 is Friday.
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