Sport NBA Playoffs 2021: Paul George rises to the ocassion, leads Kawhi-less Clippers to pivotal Game 5 road win
NBA Playoffs 2021: Donovan Mitchell drops 37, Jazz nail franchise record 20 3-pointers to outlast Clippers in Game 2 win
Donovan Mitchell dropped a game-high 37 points, as the Jazz won their sixth straight postseason game to take a 2-0 series lead against the Clippers.Donovan Mitchell, coming off a 45-piece in Game 1, scored 37, 27 of which came in a red-hot first half. He was one of five Jazz players to finish in double figures.
The LA Clippers have done the unthinkable. Without All-NBA First Teamer Kawhi Leonard, they went into Salt Lake City and stunned the top-seeded Jazz 119-111 in a pivotal Game 5.
This is LA's third straight victory and now puts them within one win of advancing to the franchise's first-ever Conference Finals. Another win would also make the franchise the first-ever team to overcome multiple 2-0 series deficits in the same postseason.
Paul George, with 37 points, led a balanced Clippers offence that had four players finishing with at least 12 points. For the Jazz, who tied a playoff franchise-record 20 3-pointers, six scored in double figures led by Bojan Bogdanovic's 32 points but it wasn't enough.
NBA Playoffs 2021: How LA Clippers superstar Kawhi Leonard has performed when trailing 2-0 in a series
Sunday's matchup with the Jazz will mark the third time in Kawhi Leonard's career that he's entered Game 3 of a series down 2-0. The two previous times, Leonard stepped up in a big way to flip the series in his team's favour. Will he deliver again?Having lost both Game 1 and Game 2, the Clippers return to Los Angeles looking to avoid going down a hole no team has ever crawled out of. Of the 142 teams that have gone up 3-0 in NBA Playoffs history, every single one has won the series to advance to the next round.
Here's a look at the biggest talking points from Game 5:
Paul George leads by example in Kawhi's absence
George stuffed the stat sheet, finishing with 37 points, 16 rebounds, five assists and two blocks on 12-of-22 shooting from the field.
By far, his best game of the 2021 postseason, George also became the first player in franchise history to score at least 20 in 12 consecutive games.
Paul George is the 1st player with 35 points, 15 rebounds & 5 assists in a playoff game in Clippers history.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo)
He received help from the duo of Reggie Jackson and Marcus Morris Sr., who combined for 46 points on 18-of-31 shooting from the field. Young gun Terrence Mann was huge as well, scoring 13 points along with two assists and two steals in 26 minutes of action.
NBA Playoffs 2021: LA Clippers dominate Game 4, tie series at 2-2 with a comfortable 14-point victory
Behind a 30-13 first quarter, the Clippers led Game 4 by as many as 29 before eventually winning it 118-104 and tying up the series at two games apiece.They had to withstand 37 points from Donovan Mitchell and did so behind 31 points apiece from their superstar duo of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Marcus Morris Sr. was the other double-digit scorer for them with 24 — 22 of which came in the first half.
Mann might have the highlight of the game to his name:
Terance Mann did that.— LA Clippers (@LAClippers)
Meanwhile, Donovan Mitchell had his first real off-game of the playoffs. Coming off six straight games with at least 30, he struggled in this one and only scored 21 on 6-of-19 shooting from the field.
Difference-making third quarter
Although the Jazz led by as many as 10 and for a majority of the first half, the Clippers never let it get away from them. Trailing by five (65-60) at halftime, the visitors flipped the game early in the third quarter.
They went on a 16-5 run to start the second half and eventually outscored the Jazz 32-18 in the period. The duo of George and Mann combined for 15 of the team's tally.
Crafty finish crashing to the cup.
????— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) |
Bojan, Jazz make history early but cool-off
The first quarter was all offence as both teams scored a combined 73 points.
NBA Playoffs 2021: LA Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (knee) out indefinitely, will miss Game 5 vs. Utah Jazz
Kawhi Leonard appeared to injure his right knee in the closing minutes of Game 4 against the Jazz.Leonard was not listed on the injury report that the Clippers filed with the league Wednesday, but an update on Thursday listed Leonard as out indefinitely.
Bojan Bogdanovic was the spark for the Jazz, becoming theof six 3-pointers in a quarter.
Bojan Bogdanovic (18 PTS) ties the postseason record for threes made in a quarter with 6 triples in the 1st! ????????— NBA (@NBA) 36 37 on TNT
For the Clippers, Paul George and Marcus Morris Sr. combined for 20 of the team's 36 in the first period but the Jazz poured it on in the second period.
In the second quarter, the hosts added seven more 3-pointers to their 10 from the first for the second-most in a half in NBA playoff history.
The— NBA History (@NBAHistory) 17 threes made in the 1st half tonight are the 2nd most 3PM in any half in history. Cleveland made 18 triples in the 1st half on 05/04/2016.
The Jazz, however, couldn't keep this hot shooting. On 3-pointers, they went from 10-of-15 in the first quarter to 7-of-15 in the second quarter and then finally, went 3-of-24 in the second half.
Much like his team, Bojan scored 25 in the first half on 8-of-14 shooting but only managed seven in the second half.
It's now a 'win-or-go-home' for the Jazz as the series shifts back to Los Angeles with Game 6 scheduled for Friday, June 18 at 10:00 p.m ET.
The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.
NBA Playoffs 2021: LA Clippers X-factor Reggie Jackson stepping up with Kawhi Leonard out .
The Clippers have overcome two 2-0 deficits so far this postseason, becoming the first franchise in NBA history to do so, and they'll have to have a third up their sleeve if they're going to advance to the NBA Finals. Without All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard in the lineup, who has helped fill that production alongside Paul George to keep LA's season going? X-factor Reggie Jackson.With superstar Kawhi Leonard in the lineup, it was reasonable to believe the Clippers could flip the script on the Dallas Mavericks before taking a win-or-go-home Game 7 to advance to the second round. When they put themselves in the same position against the top-seeded Utah Jazz, that storybook end result didn't feel as likely.