In the first round of the NBA playoffs, the LA Clippers demonstrated their resilience by recovering from a 2-0 deficit and winning their series with the Dallas Mavericks in seven games.

LA could fall into a similar hole Thursday night if they drop Game 2 against the Utah Jazz – but a similar comeback doesn’t seem as likely against a team as talented as Utah.

To their credit, the Clippers were competitively involved in Game 1 until the final buzzer despite a particularly weak performance. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George just weren’t good enough, and aside from a surprise from Luke Kennard, they didn’t get the help of their actors they had become accustomed to in the first round.

The Jazz, meanwhile, were carried by young star Donovan Mitchell, who scored a game-high 45 points in 37 minutes of action. Mitchell scored 32 of his 45 points in the second half, helping his side move away from the Clippers after falling up to 14 points behind in the second quarter.

One way the Clippers can improve in Game 2, according to coach Tyronn Lue, is by owning their space.

“We cannot get carried away by the referees and officials,” Lue said on Wednesday. “We have to play through contact, and we have to be physical on the offensive end, get to our places, execute our sets, get our catches on the elbow… I thought [Utah] did a good job trying to disrupt this. “

Lue also mentioned that he sees bigger roles for Patrick Beverley, DeMarcus Cousins ​​and Ivica Zubac moving forward in this series, so maybe they’re part of his solution to playing a bigger brand of basketball. .

Regardless of how the Clippers plan to adapt, tonight’s contest should be seen as a must see. LA spent a lot of energy to avoid elimination in the first round, and while the team plans to go further into the playoffs, they can’t afford to let this streak go on any longer than necessary.

How to watch

Match: LA Clippers (0-1) vs. Utah Jazz (1-0)

Dated: Thursday June 10

Time: 7:00 p.m. PST

Place: Vivint Smart Home Arena

Broadcast: ESPN

Betting Information

Broadcast: Jazz -3

Moneyline: Clippers +128, Jazz -152

Total points: O / U 223

Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook

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