Just like in Game 1 of their opening round series the Utah Jazz started slowly. Only this time they were able to come back using a furious second half rally to knock off the Los Angeles Clippers 112-109 for their fifth consecutive postseason victory.
Utah looks to hold serve at home when the clubs meet in Game 2 of their Western Conference semifinal on Thursday. The Jazz owned the best home record during the regular season winning 31 times and they didn’t allow LA’s stars to go off. After their payout in Game 1 the Jazz opened as a 3-point favorite in Game 2.
This NBA playoff game takes place on Thursday, June 10, 2021 and will air live on ESPN with tip off at 10 p.m. ET from Vivint Smart Home Arena.
Clippers vs Utah Jazz Game 2 Odds
Spread: Los Angeles Clippers +3 | Utah Jazz -3
Money Line: Los Angeles Clippers +131 | Utah Jazz -151
Clippers to Date
The Clippers were at a disadvantage in Game 1 having to play just a few days after knocking off Dallas in the seventh game of their first round series. Meanwhile the Jazz had five days between games since beating Memphis. That’s no excuse, though, and the Clippers didn’t make any after losing on the road for the first time this postseason. “It’s not an excuse. We were lethargic,” Paul George said.
It could have been a reason why the Clippers stumbled in the second half. LA had the lead for most of the opening 24 minutes and was still in control until a late Utah surge. The Clips are hoping their play on the road leads to a series-tying win on Thursday. They went 3-0 SU and ATS at Dallas in the first round and they are 24-16 SU and 21-17-2 ATS in all road games this season.
Jazz To Date
It was almost déjà vu for the Jazz, who lost the first game of the Memphis series at home after a week off. They experienced problems shooting the basketball in the opening half against the Clippers and found themselves down by double figures. But there’s a reason why Utah had the best record in the NBA during the regular season. While they struggled offensively the Jazz held down the fort on defense to keep them within striking distance.
Utah ranked among the top-5 in both offense and defense during the regular season allowing them to win 52 games. And they’ve been perfect this postseason with Donovan Mitchell in the lineup. The team’s leading scorer sat out the opener of the Memphis series with a lingering ankle problem, but the Jazz are 5-0 SU and ATS since he returned.
Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers lost the first two games of their series with Dallas at home and replied by winning four of the next five. They aren’t about to concede anything as they look to advance beyond the second round for the first time in franchise history. It’s not going to be easy against a balanced and efficient Utah squad, but the Clips showed for most of Game 1 that they are at the same level.
It was a rough opening game for George and Kawhi Leonard, who combined to shoot just 36.1 percent (13 of 36) from the field. That the Clips were still in a position to win was a good sign. “We did a great job in the first half and then came out in the third quarter a little sluggish, not making the right play and not making any shots while they kind of got going offensively,” Tyronn Lue explained. That likely had something to do with LA’s recent schedule.
The Mitchell effect can’t be overlooked. With the young star missing the final 16 games of the regular season and the playoff opener, the Jazz went just 10-7. Mitchell had a rough first half on Tuesday night but stayed at it and finished with 45 points – 32 of them coming in the second half – as the Jazz escaped with a 112-109 victory. It was revealed after the game that Mitchell was ill and he said that led to some of his first half struggles. He and the rest of the team picked it up in the second half, though.
While Mitchell is obviously the leader offensively, the Jazz used a balance attack and deadly three-point shooting to post the fourth-highest scoring output during the regular year. And that’s continued during the playoffs. They scored at least 120 points in four straight wins over Memphis to close out that series and they are averaging 121.5 points cashing the OVER in five of six games.
Clippers vs Jazz Game 2 Prediction
Our best bets: Utah Jazz -3 and OVER 221
Games this season between the teams have been close with three of the four decided by six points or less. I don’t expect both Leonard and George to struggle as much as they did on Tuesday and the Jazz certainly won’t miss 20 consecutive shots so playing the OVER looks like a smart play. Utah’s balance is a thing of beauty and they will use that to their advantage in Game 2.
Check out today’s NBA odds.