Paul George stepped up in Game 3 versus the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Clippers ended up winning 132-106. George, who dropped 31 points in Game 3, helped the Clippers reduce the deficit in the series to 2-1. "Oh, we're a different team," Clippers coach Ty Lue said of when George has his offense going early.
"We know that. It's been like that all season long. He's been great. You know, he had one bad game, whatever, but people are going to have bad games." The Clippers put Kawhi Leonard on Mitchell but still the Jazz guard managed to score 30 against the Clippers.
"We just made an emphasis that he's not going to beat us tonight," George said of Mitchell, who played just four minutes and 55 seconds in the fourth quarter to rest his ankle with the game out of hand. "We're going to force everybody else to play and we're just not going to let him walk into shots tonight and get the looks that he wanted early tonight."
Clippers coach praises George and Leonard
"With our two guys, we know that they are two of the best in the league," Lue said. "I don't go to Mastro's [restaurant] to order the ketchup. I go to order the steak.
And tonight, our guys were steak. That's what we need." Mitchell acknowledged downplayed his ankle issues after the game. "I feel like I was able to go back, but no need to risk it down 16, 18 at that point," Mitchell said.
"I'll be fine." Mitchell has been dealing with an ankle pain throughout the playoffs. "It's when I land," Mitchell said. "It's been just trying to manage it. 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." Jazz coach Quin Snyder also downplayed Mitchell's ankle issues. "He's in good shape," Snyder said. "He could have gone back in the game, but at that point, the lead had stretched.
In fact, while we were talking, I think Kawhi 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 is hoping to be ready for Game 4.
"Obviously, it's not going to be 100 percent, but you go out there and you try to compete," Mitchell said. "Things like this are going to happen. You just got to find ways to manage it and get out there and get ready. It's not going to be perfect, but it is what it is."