Don’t worry, jazz fans. Your favorite all-star guard is in a good mood.
In the final seconds of Utah’s 117-111 win over the Los Angeles Clippers Thursday night, Donovan Mitchell ran up to Joe Ingles for control of the ball. Before he reached Ingles, however, Mitchell collided with Paul George and quickly reached down to his right leg.
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Mitchell’s teammates helped him off the pitch, but Mitchell didn’t seem comfortable putting weight on that leg immediately. ESPN sideline reporter Cassidy Hubbarth tweeted that Mitchell later had a “visible limp” when he went to the locker room.
As ESPN analyst Doris Burke noted on the show, the obvious concern was that Mitchell had somehow injured his right ankle. The 24-year-old missed the last 16 regular season games of Jazz and Game 1 of the team’s first round series against the Grizzlies while recovering from a sprained right ankle.
During his post-game media availability, Mitchell tried to allay any concerns about his health.
“I was hit and it hurt. But now I’m fine, ”said Mitchell. “I got in here. If you want me to sprint for you, I can. I’m fine. I think the biggest thing is just you know it happens. I’m grateful it wasn’t bad and get ready for game 3. “
This is good news for jazz because they can’t afford to lose Mitchell. They are now 6-0 in the postseason if Mitchell is available; their only playoff loss came in that first series opener that he missed. He scored 37 points in Game 2, making it the first Utah player to score at least 35 points in consecutive playoff games since Karl Malone did it in 1988, according to ESPN Stats and Info.
If Mitchell is still in pain from the hit, he won’t have much recovery time. Utah will head to Los Angeles for a crucial Game 3 on Saturday.