LOS ANGELES (ABC4 Sports) – The Los Angeles Clippers made some adjustments to win Game 3 against the Utah Jazz Saturday night.
Now it’s the Jazz turn to adjust back.
Utah still owns a 2-1 lead over the Clippers headed into Game 4 on Monday night at the Staples Center. But they need to find a way to counter the Clippers’ aggressive double-teaming on defense, especially against Donovan Mitchell.
“They threw something different at us in Game 3 that we hadn’t seen,” Mitchell said on Sunday. “We need to kind of get adjusted to it. It definitely throws you off when you haven’t seen it in a while, but the team we want to be and the elite teams are able to adjust on the fly. I feel like we did a better job of it but not completely.”
After getting shut out in the first quarter, Mitchell did end up with 30 points before leaving the game in the fourth quarter with a twisted ankle. He said he is fine and will play Monday night.
But Quin Snyder emphasized spacing as an area the Jazz need to improve in Game 4.
“When people switch pick and roll coverages,” said Snyder. “They switch and hit you off the ball. That’s one of the reasons I’m talking so much about spacing, if they’re going to commit two guys to the ball, there’s things we can do to split a double team.”
“We realize that there were a lot of things that we didn’t do well as a team that we can easily fix,” said Rudy Gobert, who had 12 points and 10 rebounds in Game 3. “I think if we’re able to just do the simple things better on both ends, I think we’re going to put ourselves in a way better position to win the game.”
The Clippers were incredible on offense, shooting 55 percent from the field, and 53 percent from three-point range. The Jazz on the other hand, struggled, shooting just 43 percent from the floor.
It would also help if Mike Conley was able to play. After missing the first three games with a hamstring strain, Conley listed as questionable again for Game 4, and the Jazz miss him on both ends of the floor.
“I think we’ve done a pretty solid job of holding it down while he’s not here,” Mitchell said. “It’s definitely tough, but he’s doing all he can to come back and doing all he can in games to tell us what he sees. He’s been great and we’re anxious to get him back, but while he’s not we’ve got to be able to do what we do. Because at the end of the day, the Clippers don’t care, and if we win this one, the next team won’t care.”