MANILA, Philippines – The Utah Jazz bucked a slow start against the Los Angeles Clippers to win Game One of the NBA Western Conference semifinals series, 112-109, at a jam-packed Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah on Tuesday (Wednesday, Manila time).
A game-saving block by Rudy Gobert in the last play of the game and a 45-point output by Donovan Mitchell completed the comeback win for the Jazz, who trailed by as many as 14 points in the first half.
A third quarter surge led by Mitchell where they outscored the Clippers, 32-19, swung the momentum to Utah’s favor.
And while the Jazz went into the fourth quarter with the score tied 79-all, a quick 10-2 run to begin the quarter gave Utah control.
The Jazz stretched their lead to as big as 10, 103-93, after a Bojan Bogdanovic triple with 5:21 left in the game.
While a crucial turnover by Mitchell and a 3-pointer by Paul George in the game’s final minute kept the door ajar for the Clippers, lockdown defense — punctuated by the Gobert block — sealed the win for Utah.
Playing the supporting cast for Mitchel's 45 points were Bogdanovic and Filipin-American Jordan Clarkson, who had 18 points each.
Kawhi Leonard, meanwhile, top-scored for the Clippers with 23 points while George chipped in 20.
Earlier, the Philadelphia 76ers evened their series against the Atlanta Hawks 1-1 after winning Game Two at home, 118-102.
Joel Embiid had 40 points to lead the Sixers while Shake Milton had 14 points off of the bench.
The series will shift to Atlanta for Game Three on Friday (Saturday, Manila time).
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