|7:00 PM PT8:00 PM MT9:00 PM CT10:00 PM ET2:00 GMT10:00 7:00 PM MST9:00 PM EST6:00 UAE (+1)03:0022:00 ET8:00 PM CT1:00 , June 18, 2021
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California Attendance: 17,105
Clippers face Jazz on brink of first conference final
Utah Jazz at Los Angeles Clippers
- Utah, which has lost three games in a row for the first time this year, has allowed LA to make 15+ threes and shoot 40.0+ percent from three in each of the last three games. It is the first time ever that it has allowed an opponent to hit those mark in three straight games.
- This is the third time in franchise history that the Clippers have won three straight playoff games (also 2015 and 2020), and their seven victories this during these playoffs is tied for their most ever in a single postseason (2006, 2015, 2020). LA is looking be the first team ever to overcome two 2-0 deficits in a single postseason.
- The Jazz have never lost a best-of-seven series after holding a 2-0 lead but have won only one of their nine best-of-seven series in when facing a 3-2 deficit. Utah has been down 3-2 with Game 6 on the road three times previously, losing all three. LA has held a 3-2 series lead five times before -- it has closed out the series in Game 6 only once (2020 vs. Dallas).
- Donovan Mitchell had 21 points on Wednesday, his fewest this postseason. Even still, he has scored 20+ points in 16 straight postseason games -- the only guards with longer such streak since 2010 are Kobe Bryant (19) and James Harden (19).
- Bojan Bogdanovic scored a playoff career-high 32 points in Game 5 while also making nine threes, tying a postseason team record initially set by Donovan Mitchell on August 30, 2020.
- Paul George had 37 points, 16 rebounds and five assists in Game 5, the first ever 35-15-5 postseason game by a Clipper. He is the fourth player in franchise history with three straight 30-point postseason games, joining Bob McAdoo (9), Kawhi Leonard (5) and Elton Brand (4).
- Cavs extend qualifying offer to C Allen
- Fans celebrate Bucks' title with parade
- Pelicans officially hire Green as coach
- Bill Russell to auction personal items
- Loyal to Bucks, Giannis delivers title
Minus their top player, the Los Angeles Clippers look to advance to the Western Conference finals for the first time in franchise history when they host the Utah Jazz on Friday night in Game 6.
The Clippers will try to make history without star Kawhi Leonard, who is expected to miss his second game in a row because of a sprained right knee. Los Angeles also is without Serge Ibaka for the rest of the playoffs as he recovers from back surgery.
Despite those key absences, the fourth-seeded Clippers seized a 3-2 series lead over top-seeded Utah with a 119-111 victory on Wednesday. Paul George took command with 37 points, 16 rebounds and five assists to lead a spirited effort by Los Angeles.
Now, George and his teammates will try to repeat that gutsy performance on their home court.
"Oh man, it was a blow," George said, when asked about Leonard's absence. "It was a tough blow. But you know, at the end of the day, we don't want nothing but the best for Kawhi. It's a positive; he can get some rest. Hopefully we can hold it down."
Utah hopes to extend the series to a winner-take-all Game 7 on Sunday.
The Jazz grabbed a 2-0 lead in the series but have lost three straight games to put their season on the brink. Veteran guard Mike Conley has been sidelined because of a right hamstring strain, and star guard Donovan Mitchell acknowledged after Wednesday's loss that his sore right ankle has worsened during the series.
"It's tough, but I got to find a way," Mitchell said. "Otherwise, I'm going to be home. And I said it last year, ... and I said it during the year, we didn't do all this to lose in the second round, so we've got to figure it the (expletive) out. Otherwise, that's it. Excuse my language."
Mitchell has been the Jazz's leading scorer in 10 playoff games with 31.6 points per game on 44.7 percent shooting. Bojan Bogdanovic is averaging 18.5 points in the postseason, Conley ranks third with 17.4 points, and Jordan Clarkson (17.2) and Rudy Gobert (15.0) round out the top five.
Gobert also is averaging a team-high 12.5 rebounds and 2.3 blocks in the 2021 playoffs.
Leonard led the Clippers with 30.4 points per game in the playoffs before he was injured. George ranks second on the team in playoff scoring average with 25.9 points to go along with team highs of 9.2 rebounds and 5.2 assists.
Los Angeles' next three top scorers during the postseason are Reggie Jackson (15.8), Marcus Morris Sr. (12.7) and Nicolas Batum (9.3). Luke Kennard is next with 6.8 points per game.
To make things tougher on the Jazz, the Clippers will return to full capacity at Staples Center on Friday night.
"We have to win," Gobert said. "We have to get out there and do anything we can. We have to have a better collective effort, and hopefully we will play with more urgency.
"If we lose, we're going home. We have to get our minds right, and we have to go out there and see what happens."
--Field Level Media
Updated June 18, 2021