Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell came up huge as the Utah Jazz defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 112-109 in the opening game of their Conference semi-final on Tuesday.
Mitchell scored 32 of his game-high 45 points a massive second half after the Jazz had trailed by 12 points in the second quarter.
Jazz guard Mitchell had three rebounds and five assists as well, while French center Gobert had 12 points and 10 rebounds.
But Gobert came up with a critical contribution with a block on the final play to deny Marcus Morris’ three-point attempt when the Clippers trailed by three points.
The Clippers had flown out of the blocks with an early 22-2 run, leading by 13 points at the main break.
The Jazz fought back in the third, including a 12-2 run, to level the game at the final change, before opening up a 10-point lead with five minutes to go.
But Kawhi Leonard (23 points, seven rebounds and three assists) helped the Clippers claw their way back, along with Paul George, who had a wayward night before draining a three with 30 seconds left.
Mitchell missed on the next play allowing the Clippers one final look, but Morris couldnt get his shot away under pressure from Gobert, earning Utah a 1-0 lead.
Joel Embiid brushed off the disappointment of missing out on the NBA MVP award with a 40-point haul in the Philadelphia 76ers’ 118-102 win over the Atlanta Hawks.
Embiid finished with 40 points and 13 rebounds for the 76ers who level the series at 1-1 after their surprise Game 1 defeat.