Death, taxes and the Clippers finding themselves in must-win situations in the 2021 postseason.
Saturday night’s Game 3 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Utah Jazz isn’t technically an elimination game, but no team in NBA history has come back from an 0-3 deficit. Though the Clippers have shown an absurd amount of resiliency so far in the playoffs, coming back from down 0-2 and 2-3 against the Mavericks in the first round, winning four games in a row against the no. 1-seeded Jazz is too daunting of a task for even them to overcome.
So winning Game 3 is imperative. The Clippers have had opportunities to win in both of their first two games, but they’ve failed to capitalize. Donovan Mitchell has been spectacular, averaging 41 points on 52.5% shooting (45% from three) in the Jazz’s two victories. LA had to resort to a zone to slow him down in the second half of Game 2, and while it did limit Mitchell, it is unsustainable for long periods of time against an NBA offense (let alone the team that attempts the most three-pointers in the league).
Jazz All-Star Mike Conley has been upgraded to questionable to play in Game 3 after missing the first two games of the series with a strained hamstring. If he plays, he gives Utah another dynamic pick-and-roll threat when Mitchell sits.
Kawhi Leonard has yet to truly make his mark on this series after dominating against Dallas last round, (22 points per game as opposed to 32.1). LA will need him to take over offensively and potentially guard Mitchell for stretches if they hope to take Game 3.
How to Watch
Matchup: Utah Jazz (2-0) at LA Clippers (0-2)
Date: Saturday, June 12
Time: 5:30 p.m. PT
Venue: Staples Center
Spread: Clippers -5
Moneyline: Clippers -205, Jazz +172
Point Total: O/U 223.5
Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook