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Donovan Mitchell 'Fine' After Tweaking Ankle Injury in Closing Seconds vs. Clippers

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJune 11, 2021

AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell said his ankle injury isn't a concern despite being struck late in Thursday's Game 2 win over the Los Angeles Clippers in the teams' second-round playoff series.

"I got hit and it hurt, but I'm fine now," Mitchell told reporters after scoring a game-high 37 points in the 117-111 victory. "I walked in here. If you want me to sprint for you, I can. I'm good. You know, s--t happens. Thankfully, it wasn't bad. Move on and get ready for Game 3."

The Jazz hold a 2-0 lead as the series shifts to Staples Center in L.A. for the next two contests.

Mitchell missed the start of the postseason with a sprained ankle that sidelined him from April 16 through May 26. He's played the Jazz's last six playoff games, and the team hasn't lost since his return, winning four straight games against the Memphis Grizzlies and the first two against the Clippers.

The 24-year-old two-time All-Star torched L.A. to help Utah defended its home-court advantage. He's averaged 41.0 points, 4.5 assists and 3.0 rebounds while shooting 52.5 percent from the field and 45.0 percent from three so far in the conference semifinals.

"He's just stepping up in a big way," Jazz teammate Jordan Clarkson said after Game 2. "He's been a real superstar, MVP-caliber player, All-NBA type of guy. That's his job, and that's what he does."

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Mitchell's contributions, especially in helping run the offense, have been crucial with starting point guard Mike Conley missing the series' first two games with a hamstring injury.

Clarkson scored 24 points off the bench in Game 2, while Rudy Gobert added 13 points, 20 rebounds and three blocks to help the Jazz gain firm control of the series.

"I don't feel like I have to go out there and do everything," Mitchell said. "I think that's a credit to my teammates, credit to the guys that we have on this team. They can go out there and make plays. ... I don't feel like I have to go up there, walk it up, do everything. There are times where I will have to do that. That's just part of my job, but for me, it's great to have a group of guys that trust you and you trust. You just go out there and play and have fun."

It appears Mitchell avoided any injury setback Thursday night, and now the focus shifts to Game 3 as Utah attempts to push the Clippers to the brink of elimination. Tip off is scheduled for Saturday at 8:30 p.m. ET on ABC.

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