Mitchell has 37, Jazz beat Clippers 117-111 for 2-0 lead

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Los Angeles Clippers forward Nicolas Batum (33) defends as Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, left, goes to the basket during the first half of Game 2 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series Thursday, June 10, 2021, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

SALT LAKE CITY – Donovan Mitchell's scoring sent the Utah Jazz into the lead and their defense closed the door.

Mitchell scored 37 points and the Jazz forced nine straight misses down the stretch to outlast the Los Angeles Clippers 117-111 on Thursday night and take a 2-0 lead in their Western Conference semifinal series.

Mitchell clinched the game with a driving shot with 43 seconds remaining but then appeared to hurt his leg slightly on a foul by Paul George with 10 seconds to play. He made one of two free throws after hobbling to the line.

“I’m fine now. I walked in here and if you want me to sprint for you, I can. I’m good,” Mitchell said.

The guard is the first Jazz player with at least 35 points in back-to-back playoff games since Karl Malone in 1988, but the points became more difficult as the game wore on.

“I don’t feel like I have to go out there and do everything. I think that’s a credit to the guys we have on this team because they can go out there make plays. Everybody’s elevated their game,” Mitchell said.

Jordan Clarkson scored 24, including six 3-pointers, while Joe Ingles had 19 points and Rudy Gobert contributed 13 points and a career playoff-high 20 rebounds.

Reggie Jackson led the Clippers with 29 points and George had 27. Kawhi Leonard scored 21 points but managed just two in the fourth quarter.