After falling behind in the fourth quarter, Jazz continued a 14-2 run to regain control and clinched a 117-111 victory as the series moves to Los Angeles.
There were a few crazy minutes in the third quarter of Game 2 on Thursday night, when Utah Jazz fans perhaps allowed themselves to believe that their team could perhaps sideline the Clippers relatively easily.
Quite misguided, in retrospect.
A 21-point lead was erased by confusion over a zone defense. An attack that was incredibly effective all night thanks to the exploits on your turn, my turn of Donovan Mitchell and Jordan Clarkson, who saw the wheels fall off as these two were tired.
And instead of a fairly dominant 2-0 lead in their Western Conference semi-final streak … well, it turns out they still have it, thank you to everyone else who finally stepped up. just in time to claim a 117-111 victory at Vivint Arena.
After Jazz gave Los Angeles a 101-99 lead midway through the fourth quarter, all of Jazz’s other key players finally came to life.
Ingles kind of banked a bonkers teardrop layup almost from the top of the backboard.
Following the release of a Nic Batum 3, Jazz made a rare foray into the transition and saw Bojan Bogdanovic lean on a triple.
Another stop… then Rudy Gobert went to yell in the lane for a thundering dunk-and-a.
Marcus Morris made up a 3… then Royce O’Neale drew one from the corner.
The defense of Jazz has also tightened.
Patrick Beverley was challenged by Gobert and missed in the lane, Morris missed 3 more, Kawhi Leonard was unable to convert during a contested layup try…
And then Joe Ingles buried a triple.
Just like that, Utah had a massive 14-2 run that turned the game up 113-103 with just over 3 minutes to go.
That would prove to be enough, as they held on during the tense final straight.
Mitchell, who appeared to be considerably slowed down and deprived of his prior athleticism as the game progressed, finished with 37 points on a 15-for-29 shot. Clarkson – who didn’t score a goal in the fourth – has still scored 24 points on a 6 out of 9 effective in depth.
Meanwhile, Ingles, who has been criticized for his reluctance to shoot and for being off target when he did, enjoyed his best game of these playoffs, racking up 19-of-7-for-10 points from the field during his last departure for the still. -injured Mike Conley.
Gobert contributed 13 points, 20 boards and three blocks, while Bogdanovic added 16 relatively calm points.
And that’s how the Jazz managed to overcome too many turnovers, too many offensive rebounds allowed, too many missed free throws.
It turned out to be definitely not easy at all.
And yet, as the series moves to Staples Center in Los Angeles, the crucial 2-0 lead matters no less.