The Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Utah Jazz 116-112 on Friday night.
In doing so, LA snapped Utah’s nine-game winning streak and reaffirmed itself as the team to beat in the Western Conference.
Jazz star Donovan Mitchell overcame a slow start to finish with 35 points on the day. Of that total, 29 came in the second half.
After the game, Mitchell spoke to the media and described his main takeaways from the night.
His most interesting one was in regards to Clippers guard Patrick Beverley, who just last week was mentioned as part of a blockbuster trade proposal involving the Houston Rockets.
“Gotta give credit to Patrick Beverley,” he said.
“He’s first team All-Defense for a reason. Made my life hard to start the game. That kind of set the tone… Give Pat his credit. He’s a hell of a defender.”
Beverley finished the game with 17 points, two rebounds, two assists and one steal. Afterward, he went into detail describing how much respect the Clippers had for the Jazz coming into this one.
“We might be small in size but we’re not small in heart, for sure,” he said. “Playing the No. 1 team, we got to go out and beat them. They’re not going to give it to you and that’s the mindset we came out with.”
Mitchell, for his part, sees the loss as an opportunity for growth.
“This is a bump in the road, and a good one, in my opinion,” he said. “I think this is something we can look at and say, ‘OK, we stayed with them, but this is what separated the game.’ And I’m proud of the way that we played and competed.”
The Clippers and Jazz (along with the LA Lakers, obviously) are the class of the Western Conference.
Jeanie Buss shoots her shot with the GOAT.https://t.co/Nmu4oJAf7w
— Game 7 (@game7__) February 17, 2021
Given how close this outing ultimately was, it’s safe to say any one of those teams could win the championship this year. That probably explains why each one is looking for a trade that would put them over the edge.
The Jazz have been linked to an intriguing trade involving the San Antonio Spurs, while the Clippers are one of two teams that have been connected to a possible trade involving Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors.
If either or both of those moves actually come to fruition, the rematch between these two squads will turn into arguably the biggest heavyweight match-up in the NBA this year.