The Utah Jazz collectively held their breath when All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell limped off the court in the fourth quarter of Game 3 with the Los Angeles Clippers ahead by 11 points in what would end up being a 132-106 blowout loss. Mitchell was favoring the same ankle that kept him out for Game 1 of Utah's first-round series in the playoffs, which also caused him to miss the last 15 games of the regular season.
After the loss, however, Mitchell said his ankle was fine.
"I'm good. That's all I got for you. I'm good," Mitchell said. "The situation happened. I felt like I was good to come back, but no need to risk it down 18. Time to rest up and get ready for the next game."
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Jazz coach Quin Snyder echoed the same sentiment as Mitchell about not wanting to risk it given the state of the game.
"He could have gotten back in the game," Snyder said. "We're kind of borderline there depending on where the game was. I just felt like it had gotten to I think an 18-point lead with four or five minutes to play and it just didn't make sense at that point to put him back. In fact, we took our other guys out shortly thereafter as well."
The injury occurred after Mitchell tried to finish at the rim and came down awkwardly, which caused him to immediately hop up and down on one leg before motioning to the bench to be taken out of the game. He went back to the locker room, and by the time he came back out the Clippers increased their lead to 18 points. The Jazz said he was available to return and that he wasn't being held out due to the injury, and as Mitchell and Snyder said, it was in the best interest to not risk further issue with the game already out of hand
You can see the injury below:
The good news is that Mitchell and the Jazz don't seem too worried about his availability for Game 4, but it does appear like he's still dealing with some lingering pain from the initial ankle injury he suffered in the regular season.
"It's when I land. It's been ... just trying to manage it," Mitchell said. "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."
Utah is already without Mike Conley, who hasn't played in this series since suffering a hamstring strain in Game 5 of the team's first-round series against the Memphis Grizzlies, and the possibility of missing Mitchell as well would be a significant blow. While it sounds like he should be available for Game 4, that doesn't mean he'll be at 100 percent.