Donovan Mitchell’s NSFW comments on Game 5 loss to Paul George, Clippers

Donovan Mitchell was not a happy camper after his Utah Jazz fell to Paul George and the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 5, 119-111. The Jazz now trail the series after initially leading 2-0 and face their first elimination game of the postseason Friday night in Los Angeles for Game 6.

The biggest takeaway of the night is that, despite being down superstar Kawhi Leonard, the Clippers were able to come into Utah and steal Game 5, setting themselves up to advance with one more win back home.

“It’s disappointing,” Donovan Mitchell admitted after the game. “I think, for us, understanding that this was a winnable game for us. Outside of Paul having a great night and a few other guys doing well, but I think disappointed. But understanding that we can’t really sit here and sulk. The series is not over. We got a lot of life left to give and a lot of juice to give and we just got to go out there and play with a level of desperation that we have never played with before, otherwise we’ll be home.”

The Jazz came out scorching offensively, knocking down 10-of-15 3-pointers in the opening quarter and 17 3s in the first half, easily on pace to break the NBA’s record of 25 made 3-pointers in a game, set by the Cleveland Cavaliers a few years back.

There were two ways to look at the Jazz’s five-point halftime lead: Either the Clippers were hanging around despite so many 3s, which was a good sign for LA, or the Jazz held a five-point lead despite only nine first-half points from Mitchell.

Utah’s shooting came to a rapid halt in the second half, where the team shot 3-of-19 from beyond the arc. The Clippers, who have had their struggles in third quarters this postseason, outscored the Jazz 32-18, taking a lead they would not relinquish into the fourth quarter.

Donovan Mitchell finished the game with only 21 points on 6-of-19 shooting from the field and 4-of-14 from beyond the arc. He’d been dealing with the ankle injury over the last few games, but his mobility was visibly tested throughout Game 5.

“I’m figuring it out,” Mitchell said. “For most of my life I’ve been able to push by, explode by, and jump through people or over people, and for the first time in my career, I’ve had to play on the floor. So being able to not to just, knowing when to attack, picking my spots, finding my teammates, I think that’s the biggest thing, being able to kind of get off, hit them when they’re doubling me and engaging the blitz. And I think I did a solid job of that, I can do better, it’s a learning process and it sucks that I’m learning this through the playoffs, but it is what it is and no excuses. So just being able to kind of bait the blitz, know when to attack and just kind of slow down a little bit, I think that’s what I’ve been doing throughout the entire playoffs because obviously can’t really move.”

Meanwhile, Paul George dropped his third consecutive game of at least 30 points for the Clippers, including a monster 37/16/5 effort in the pivotal Game 5.

Unfortunately for both the Jazz and Donovan Mitchell, their time to figure it out is almost up while it appears the Clippers have figured them out. They’ve lost three consecutive games to the Clippers by a total of 48 points after winning the first two games of the series by a combined nine points.

Mitchell’s health has been at the forefront of the Jazz’s struggles so far in this series, with the Clippers throwing Kawhi Leonard and Paul George at him in between random double-teams and blitzes off pick-and-rolls.

Over the last two games, 29 of Mitchell’s 45 shot attempts have been 3-pointers. He made 10 of those shots, but it’s a volume that clearly shows the explosive guard isn’t getting to the paint or basket as he usually does.

“It’s something I’m going to have to deal with,” Donovan Mitchell added. “I mean, it f**king sucks. I ain’t got nothing else to say. Like it’s tough when you’re trying different things that you normally do and you see spots you can get to, but you can’t, so you got to find a way to make it happen. It’s tough, but I got to find a way, otherwise I’m going to be home. And I said it last year, that we didn’t do all this — and I said during the year — we didn’t do all this to lose in the second round, so we got to figure it the f**k out, otherwise, that’s it. Excuse my language.”

Paul George and the Clippers return home for Friday’s game, where Donovan Mitchell and the Jazz are hoping they can get back in the series and force a deciding Game 7 in Utah on Sunday.

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