The Clippers, although, are going to must dig deeper than some other staff in NBA historical past to get out of this gap in opposition to the Utah Jazz after falling 117-111 in Game 2 earlier than a sellout crowd of 18,007 at Vivint Arena.
While the Clippers rebounded to beat the Dallas Mavericks in seven video games after dropping the primary two at residence within the first spherical, no staff has ever overcome a number of 2-0 deficits in the identical postseason.
“We all got to put our will out on the floor,” Leonard stated of what it is going to take for the Clippers to duplicate their first-round comeback. “You know, see what we did in the first two games and try to limit our mistakes and just keep going on from there pretty much.
“We’ll see [on Friday] what we bought to do, and we have got a lot of fight left. So you understand, we’re up for the problem.”
The Clippers showed plenty of fight in Game 2 on Thursday night. They fell behind 76-55 with 9 minutes, 27 seconds remaining as the pro-Jazz crowd celebrated a 24-5 run that spanned from late in the second quarter to early in the third.
But Reggie Jackson drilled six of seven shots and scored 16 of his 29 points in the third quarter to lead a Clippers’ comeback.
Jackson buried back-to-back 3-pointers, and the Clippers led 101-99 with 6:37 left in the game. But like they have been for much of this postseason, the Clippers were streaky, and suddenly their shot deserted them.
The Clippers missed nine straight shots, including six from behind the arc, and Utah capitalized to go on a game-clinching 14-2 run.
Despite the results, coach Ty Lue said he was “very blissful” with the shots the Clippers got during that game-deciding drought.
“I imply, what else are you able to get?” Lue said. “Four or 5 wide-open 3s, we simply did not make. So we knew Rudy [Gobert] was going to assist. We knew our shooters was going to be open, and we simply bought to step up and make pictures, and we do not. We simply bought good pictures and we did not make them. Hopefully subsequent recreation, they go down.”
Unlike in the last series in which the Clippers dropped the first two at home and then had to win Games 3 and 4 in Dallas to even the series, Lue’s team returns to Staples Center hoping to hold serve. If the Clippers don’t, they could return to Utah facing elimination or potentially not make it back at all.
The Clippers know top-seeded Utah is a better opponent than Dallas. But they still remain confident knowing that they have recovered from an 0-2 deficit just in the last series.
“We’ve bought to provide them credit score,” said Paul George, who had 27 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. “This is a robust opponent. They weren’t No. 1 within the West for no cause. … But, you understand, we’re approaching this the identical method Dallas was — we nonetheless really feel we’ve a lot of possessions that we will clear up, a lot of possessions which are hurting us that is our fault.”
The Clippers will also have to find a way to slow down Donovan Mitchell and Utah’s shooters. Mitchell has scored 45 points and 37 points in the first two games. And Utah buried 20 3-pointers in Game 2.
“As good as they’re taking part in, as robust as this matchup is, we nonetheless really feel like there’s moments all through this recreation, this collection, that, you understand, we’re making performs which are self-inflicted,” George said.
“It’s a lot of uphill. But we’re optimistic that we will get this underneath management and return residence, one recreation at a time, and attempt to tie this collection up.”