Salt Lake City (USA), Jun 2 (EFE) .- There was no surprise, the star guard Donovan Mitchell was in charge of leading the Utah Jazz to a 126-110 triumph in the fifth game of the tie of first round of the Western Conference playoffs, which beat the best of seven 4-1 and made it to the semifinals.
The best team in the league confirmed that it is the highest contender for the title in the Western Conference, where it will rival the winner of the tie between the Los Angeles Clippers against the Dallas Mavericks.
The first semifinal game will be played at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City.
Mitchell had a double-double of 30 points, 10 assists and six rebounds, his best game of the series, and the Jazz managed to win a first-round playoff eliminator for the first time since 2018.
While the Grizzlies began their early vacations after losing the last four games after having surprised with the victory in the opening game of the series that was played at the Vivint Arena.
If Mitchell claimed his status as a franchise player, he did not play the first game, the French center Rudy Gobert continued in his line of undisputed leader in the paint and also finished with a double-double of 23 points and 15 rebounds, in addition to putting three plugs.
Once again, point guard Jordan Clarkson claimed his status as the winner of the 6th Player of the Year award and scored 24 points as a reserve.
While power forward Royce O’Neale, who is getting bigger every day in his individual game, reached 17 goals, the same as Croatian forward Bojan Bogdanovic, who perfectly complements Mitchell’s offensive work as a first option for attack.
Faced with this complete individual and team game, the Grizzlies could only present the maximum of fight and resistance, but without ever having the option to win.
Point guard Ja Morant and forward Dillon Brooks led Memphis with 27 points each, but without being able to lead the score.
Nor were the 18 points of the Lithuanian center Jonas Valanciunas a winning factor because he lost the individual duel with Gobert when he had only six rebounds.
While power forward Jaren Jackson Jr. reached 15 points, grabbed seven rebounds and put up three spikes, but the Grizzlies lost the duel under the hoops with 39 balls sacked by 51 from the Jazz.
The Utah team started overwhelming with a 47-27 run in the first quarter that ended with a basket from point guard Mike Conley, the former Grizzlies player, who left everything sentenced the rest of the way, since the Jazz advantage never it was less than 15 points.
During the first 12 minutes, Utah made 18 of 26 shots from the field and 9 of 15 from 3-point range. Mitchell led the way with 14 points. Bogdanovic added 11. O’Neale added six and Conley had seven.
Utah edged Memphis 28-24 in the second quarter to take a 75-51 lead at halftime. Mitchell scored 12 of his 26 points in the first half of the second quarter. Mitchell finished the first half with a great triple against Valanciunas marking.
Nothing changed in the third quarter as the Jazz started it on an 11-3 streak.
They did it without Mike Conley, who missed the second half with hamstring pain. Utah edged Memphis 31-25 in the third quarter and held a 106-76 lead entering the fourth. Clarkson gave the Jazz a spark in the third with 11 points.
The Grizzlies ran a short run midway through the fourth quarter and cut Utah’s lead from 31 to 22 with 6:09 left, just enough for Jazz coach Quin Snyder to decide to put Mitchell back in the game. .
Slowly, Utah created separation once more from Memphis after approaching 18. Mitchell hit a float in the lane to put the Jazz up 20 with 2:48 to play.
Then it was the moment when Snyder and Taylor Jenkins, coach of the Grizzlies, decided to give all the starters a rest and emptied their benches with 2:17 remaining in the game, while in the stands the 13,000 fans who witnessed the game had already started. the celebration for the deserved triumph and classification of the Jazz.
Also before the start of the game at the Vivint Arena there was a moment in honor of the Jazz expívot, Jazz Mark Eaton, who last week died at the age of 64 as a result of a bicycle accident.
(c) EFE Agency