Donovan Mitchell and the Utah Jazz were firmly in the driver’s seat after taking a 2-0 lead over the Clippers in their second-round playoff series. But after that, the wheels fell off for the No. 1 seed in the West.
Dropping four straight games to Los Angeles, the Jazz have now been eliminated from the 2021 postseason.
Speaking to reporters after the last night’s 131-119 loss, Mitchell gave his reaction to the blown series lead.
“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,” the two-time NBA All Star said, per Jazz insider Eric Walden. “Probably watching the games, mad as hell. This hurts more than last year. This is gonna eat at me for a long time.”
Donovan Mitchell: “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.”
— Eric Walden (@tribjazz) June 19, 2021
While his team was unable to get the job done, Mitchell certainly did his part. The star shooting guard averaged a staggering 34.8 points per game (including a stunning 45-point performance in Game 1) — despite battling through a nagging ankle injury. Fighting elimination last night, the former No. 13 overall pick posted an impressive near triple-double with 39 points, nine assist and nine rebounds.
This series loss marks the second season in a row that Mitchell and the Jazz have blown a two-game lead. In last year’s playoff bubble, Utah held a 3-1 series lead over the Denver Nuggets before dropping the next three games straight.
This has to hurt for Mitchell.
Through four playoff attempts in his four-year NBA career, he’s failed to lead his team past the second round each time. And with a league-best 52-20 regular-season record this year, 2021 seemed like his best opportunity to get over that Western Conference Finals hump.
Overcoming their second 2-0 deficit in this year’s playoffs, the Clippers will go on to face the Phoenix Suns in the WCF.
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