It happened there before – Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinals in Los Angeles. They were up 25 points in the second half, only to surrender the lead, the game, and the series. 

Tuesday night, with significantly less at stake, the Utah Jazz repeated their playoff mishap. 

Utah held a 76-51 advantage with eight minutes left in the third quarter, only to see LA roar back. The Clippers outscored the Jazz 70-39 the rest of the way to earn the 121-115 win.

“I don’t know. It’s the same [expletive]. I don’t know,” Donovan Mitchell said postgame.

Mitchell scored 33 points and dished 6 assists, but committed 6 turnovers. Down by four, he took a timeout that Utah didn’t have with 14.9 seconds left. Reggie Jackson sunk the technical free throw to put the result out of reach.

“The timeout, I didn’t know. That’s on me. As a leader, I’ve got to know,” Mitchell explained.

Paul George did the heavy lifting for the Clips. In his first game back since December 22, George poured 26 of his team-leading 34 points in the second half.

Rudy Gobert returned to the lineup after missing Sunday’s contest against the Dallas Mavericks. The All-Star center made his presence felt nearly immediately. He rejected Ivica Zubac’s driving hook shot in the second minute. Gobert finished with 9 points, 16 rebounds, and 3 blocks. 

Greg Monroe made his Jazz debut. The veteran big checked in midway through the first quarter, but his finest moment came in his second half stint. Monroe collected an offensive rebound and found a cutting Juancho Hernangomez for a jam. He played 9 minutes and scored 4 points. 

With the loss, Utah finished their road trip 1-5. They sit in fifth place in the Western Conference with a 45-31 record.

The Jazz return home to face off against Russell Westbrook and the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.


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