Utah Jazz star guard Donovan Mitchell was extremely disappointed following a Denver Nuggets Game 7 loss but he underlined that he would return better than ever. On Tuesday, the Nuggets beat the Jazz 80-78 after Jazz guard Mike Conley missed a three-pointer for the win.
The Jazz were up by 3-1 but the Nuggets won three games in a row to set up a Western Conference semifinal meeting against the Los Angeles Clippers. Mitchell scored 22 points but also had nine turnovers in Game 7. "We're ready to fight through anything," Mitchell said, per ESPN.
"That's always been the case. It's a character thing to come back the way we did. We're ready to compete through anything. For myself ... I can't lie to you, I was surprised by certain little things that I've done and accomplished.
But it's nothing I haven't worked on. There were criticisms of what I could do on the offensive and defensive end, and I feel like I've taken a step in the right direction. "This isn't the last of it. This is me scratching the surface.
I know what I can do, how hard I've worked, how hard this team has worked. This won't be the end of it. That's what's fueling me. This ain't the end. This is just the beginning. I'm ready to go hoop again right now.
I think we all are. This is just the beginning."
Mitchell admits he was in shock
The Jazz got a chance to win the series but Conley's shot just wouldn't go in. Mitchell had a hell of a series, joining Michael Jordan and Allen Iverson as the only players who have had two 50-point games in one series.
But even that wasn't enough for the Jazz to make it past the Nuggets and Mitchell couldn't hide his disappointment. "To be honest, I [was] in shock," Mitchell said with a shake of his head, describing what he was going through in that moment.
"That was it. You work so hard to get to a point that we got to, and we were this close. We were down, we came back, and fought and clawed, and to be that close ... that hurt. "I didn't know what else to do. I was exhausted.
I just kinda laid there ... that s--- sucks. This will be on my mind for a long time."