Nagging pain in his right ankle won’t stop Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell from suiting up for Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Mitchell scored 30 points in 32 minutes for the top-seeded Jazz but missed the final seven minutes of Saturday’s 132-106 loss after tweaking the ankle.
Game 4 is Monday night at Los Angeles, and he insisted he’ll be ready to play.
“It’s been just trying to manage it,” Mitchell said. “I don’t really know what else to tell you. I don’t want to say too much. It was just the landing, but I’m good. I’ll be ready for Game 4.”
Mitchell says he could have come back into Saturday’s game, but the lopsided score made it pointless.
“I feel like I was able to go back, but no need to risk it down 16, 18 at that point,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell missed the final 16 games of the regular season and Utah’s playoff opener with a sprain in the same ankle.
He appeared to re-injure the ankle with seven minutes remaining and left the contest. The Clippers took advantage by scoring 10 straight points, making it 116-95 with 5:22 left.
Mitchell was pleading with Jazz coach Quin Snyder during the latter portion of the Los Angeles run to let him go back into the game but was turned down.
“He could have gone back in the game, but at that point, the lead had stretched,” Snyder said. “In fact, while we were talking, I think Kawhi (Leonard) hit a 3. That was my decision not to put him back in at that point. The game had gotten away from us at that point, but he’s fine.”
Mitchell, who is averaging 32.3 points per game in the playoffs, joined Utah legend Karl Malone as the lone players in franchise history to score at least 30 points in five straight postseason contests. Malone did it six straight times (three in 1995, three in 1996).
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