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Jazz's Donovan Mitchell: Game 6 Loss to Clippers 'Gonna Eat at Me for a Long Time'

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJune 19, 2021

Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

A disappointed Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell gave his thoughts on his team's second-round playoff exit after falling to the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 6 on Friday.

Per Eric Walden of the Salt Lake Tribune, Mitchell said: "It hasn't fully sunk in for me yet. I'm still in shock. … I don't know what I'm going to be doing next week. Probably watching the games, mad as hell. This hurts more than last year. This is gonna eat at me for a long time."

Utah blew a 2-0 series lead and it also blew a 22-point halftime lead Friday in what ended up being a 131-119 defeat.

Mitchell had a huge Game 6 with 39 points, nine rebounds and nine assists on 12-of-27 shooting (9-of-15 from three) despite being questionable with an ankle injury.

The ailment cost him the final 16 games of the regular season and Game 1 of Utah's first-round series against the Memphis Grizzlies. While Mitchell returned and played well, the injury bothered him throughout the postseason.

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Per Walden, he said: "It f--king hurt. Just tried to play through it. … I was just trying to find a way, by any means necessary. … But now we're going home. I'm still not mentally ready for this. We fought hard."

Although the Clippers won Games 3 and 4 at home to even the series, the Jazz were in a great spot entering Game 5, as Kawhi Leonard was ruled out for that game and potentially the remainder of the series with a knee injury.

Mitchell and the Jazz were unable to take advantage, though, as Paul George delivered a game-high 37 points, and a more unlikely hero emerged in Game 6.

Terance Mann, who came off the bench for much of the season with L.A., exploded for 39 points on 15-of-21 shooting from the floor and 7-of-10 shooting from three. George added 28 points, and Reggie Jackson had 27.

Meanwhile, the second-leading scorers on the Jazz were Jordan Clarkson and Royce O'Neale with 21 points each.

The Jazz got starting point guard Mike Conley back Friday after he missed the first five games of the series with a hamstring injury, but he went just 1-of-8 from the floor and finished with five points, three assists and two rebounds with six turnovers in 26 minutes.

At 52-20, the Jazz had the best record in the NBA this season, and falling short of the Finals in a wide-open Western Conference will be considered a disappointment. Versus the Clippers, they had both the series and then Game 6 well in hand before falling short.

Now, the Clippers and Phoenix Suns will square off in the Western Conference Finals.

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