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Donovan Mitchell, Jazz take game 1 over the Clippers

Welcome to Yahoo Sports NBA Playoff Tracker, your daily one-stop shop for all the latest game results from every NBA playoff series. Here’s a look at Tuesday’s games.

Thanks to a huge exit in the second half by Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz took an early 1-0 lead over the Los Angeles Clippers.

Jazz came together from an early hole on Tuesday night to beat the Clippers 112-109 in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal series at the Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mitchell finished with 45 points in the win, 32 of which came in the second half.

The tide of Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Robert̵
7;s block leads Utah to victory in match 1

Utah started slowly on Tuesday night and at one point missed 21 straight shots in the first quarter. Although they managed to reduce the game to single digits at the end of the first period, the Clippers continued to advance by 13 points at the break.

“The shots we got early were good, we were a little hasty,” said jazz coach Quinn Snyder through Salt Lake Tribune’s Eric Walden. “By the time the game settled in, we started attacking the paint. We settled in, Donovan settled in, we were there at the end of the defense.”

Mitchell took Jazz to start the second half and kept them in the game on his own. He opened the third quarter in a 10-2 personal series to reduce the Clippers’ lead to just five minutes after the period.

By the end of the third, thanks to 15 points in a quarter from Mitchell and a huge 3-point from Clarkson in the last minute, the jazz had tied things up 79-79, while overtaking the Clippers 32-19.

Finally, after a close fight in the opening minutes of the fourth, Jazz mounted a short 7-0 match, crowned by the deep connection with 3 points of Bojan Bogdanovic to climb them with 10.

The clippers were still not forever. They reduced the game to 3 points after Paul George scored a 3-point in the last minute.

The Clippers also had a final shot to send the game into overtime, but Jazz center Rudy Robert blocked Marcus Morris’ corner attempt with 3 points – causing the Clippers to collide when the last buzzer sounded, giving the jazz three points.

Kawhi Leonard led the Clippers with 23 points in the loss while shooting 9 of 19 from the field. George added 20 points and Luke Kenard raised 18 from the bench.

Mitchell led Utah with 45 points and five assists and shot 16 of 30 from the field. Snyder revealed after the game that Mitchell felt “a little nasty, a little frivolous.”

Obviously, that didn’t slow him down at all.

Both Bogdanovic and Jordan Clarkson added 18 points each, and Robert finished with 10 points and 12 rebounds. Mike Conley was excluded from the game some time ago with a lower leg injury, something he injured during their first round series against the Memphis Grizzlies.

Game 2 of the series is scheduled for Thursday night in Salt Lake City.

Sixers guard Shake Milton scored 14 points in the second half from the bench to help swing Game 2 against the Hawks.  (Tim Nwachukwu / Getty Images)
Sixers guard Shake Milton scored 14 points in the second half from the bench to help swing Game 2 against the Hawks. (Tim Nwachukwu / Getty Images)

Shake Milton may have saved the Sixers season

Call it the game Shake Milton.

The Philadelphia 76ers’ third-year reserve scored 14 points in six shots over six minutes, covering the third and fourth quarters. His heat test sparked a 28-9 series that opened a previously troubling Game 2 for the Sixers, whose 118-102 victory over the Atlanta Hawks tied their Eastern Conference semifinal series, 1-1.

Joel Embide’s 40 points and 13 rebounds gave the Sixers a slim margin over the explosive Hawks until Milton caught fire. Tobias Harris scored 22 points for Philadelphia and Seth Curry added 21. Sixers star Ben Simmons had four points on three shots and two missed free throws in 35 minutes. Excitement in the second half by Embiid and Milton saved the 76ers from a 2-0 series deficit and Simmons from more criticism.

Game 3 is scheduled for Friday night at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Philadelphia’s defensive length finally disappointed Hawks star Trey Young, who still finished with 21 points and 11 assists, albeit with a 6-for-16 shooting from the floor and a 1-for-7 night of 3-points. Kevin Yurter and Danilo Galinari combined for 41 points from the Atlanta bench, hitting 8 of 14 from a distance.

The Sixers were determined not to repeat their grim start to Game 1 when the Hawks bet 42-27 and never looked back. Philadelphia scored 24 of their 33 points for Tuesday’s first quarter in a fight, led by 16 points from Tobias Harris in an 8-for-8 shot in the 3-point line.

The Atlanta reserve caused a comeback in the second quarter as Werther and Galinari combined 20 points in a 7-for-8 shot in the 12 minutes before halftime. In the first half, the Hawks’ reserves outscored their Sixers counterparts 32-0, and Philadelphia’s one-time 18-point lead was reduced to a 57-55 break advantage.

Hawks hung out, despite Embiid’s 17 points in the third quarter. Bogdan Bogdanovic’s 3-point back and a pair of free throws by Young briefly led Atlanta to an 80-79 lead with 2:41 left in the third, but Milton responded with an attack. He tried 3 of his own to regain the lead and two minutes later hit 35 feet in the buzzer to give the Sixers a more comfortable 91-84 lead, entering the fourth.

Milton moved that three-pointer into the final quarter, scoring or assisting seven of Philadelphia’s next 11 points to ignite a 14-0 run, bringing the lead back to 18 and ending any chance of another mowing in Atlanta.

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