SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – The Utah Jazz injuries woes continue to grow.
The Jazz starting backcourt of Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley are now both listed as questionable for Utah’s must-win Game 6 against the Los Angeles Clippers Friday night at the Staples Center.
The Jazz trail the series 3-2, and need to win to force a Game 7 Sunday at Vivint Arena.
Conley has been out the entire series with a hamstring strain, and Mitchell was added to the injury list after playing through an ankle injury in the Jazz 119-111 loss in Game 5 Wednesday night.
Both players are considered to be game-time decisions.
Mitchell scored 21 points on 6 of 19 shooting, and was seen wincing in pain throughout the game.
“It sucks,” Mitchell said after the game. “”It’s something I have to deal with. I ain’t got nothing else to say. It’s tough when you’re trying things you normally do and you see spots you can get to, but you can’t. So, you gotta find a way to make it happen. It’s tough, but I gotta find a way otherwise I’m gonna be home.”
Mitchell missed the last 16 games of the regular season and one playoff game with the ankle injury. He returned for Game 2 against Memphis, and has averaged 31.6 points and 5.1 assists in the postseason.
But after last night, it was evident Mitchell was not himself.
“For most of my life, I’ve been able to push by, explode by, jump through and over people,” Mitchell said. “But for the first time in my career, I’ve had to play on the floor. Knowing when to attack, picking my spots, finding my teammates, I think that’s the biggest thing, being able to kind of get off, hit them when they’re doubling me and engaging the blitz. And I think I did a solid job of that. I can do better. It’s a learning process and it sucks that I’m learning this through the playoffs, but it is what it is and no excuses.”
Head coach Quin Snyder said the team will not put Mitchell’s long-term health in jeopardy by playing him if he is not able.
“Donovan obviously is playing through a lot of pain,” said head coach Quin Snyder. “They’ll continue to evaluate him and see where he is. We’ll obviously have Donovan’s best interest first and foremost in mind.”
The Clippers have ruled out all-star forward Kawhi Leonard for Game 6. Leonard suffered a knee injury towards the end of Game 4 and sat out Game 5.