HOUSTON — Rookie star Donovan Mitchell did not anticipate to throw down a thunderous dunk when he went up for a rebound of his personal miss in heavy site visitors in the course of the fourth quarter Wednesday night time.
“To be honest with you, I was just trying to shoot a floater and grab a rebound, but I just happened to be up there,” Mitchell stated after the Utah Jazz evened their Western Convention semifinal series with a 116-108 win over the Houston Rockets in Recreation 2. “So I figured, why not come down with it?”
Mitchell’s ferocious right-handed putback dunk was the highlight of the Jazz’s upset over the top-seeded Rockets. The reigning NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion stated it was one of his greatest dunks of his sensational rookie season, contemplating the stage and circumstances.
“That was my first one really on [national] TV,” Mitchell stated. “I had a few like that, but that was pretty cool in the playoffs to be able to do that.”
The dunk got here after the 6-foot-Three Mitchell drove towards Rockets small ahead Trevor Ariza and put up an off-balance floater that fell brief. Mitchell shortly gathered himself, launched off two ft, caught the ball and slammed it in over the complete Houston frontcourt, with Ariza, energy ahead PJ Tucker and Clint Capela all getting posterized.
Mitchell’s spectacular slam got here at a essential second within the sport. It pushed the Jazz’s benefit to 6 factors with 6:11 remaining within the sport, half of a 16-2 run that gave Utah the lead for good after the Rockets had rallied from a 19-point deficit.
Mitchell contributed to all however one level in that run, though a free throw was his solely different level moreover the dunk in the course of the spurt, when he assisted on 4 Three-pointers.
Mitchell broke John Stockton‘s franchise playoff file with 11 assists, greater than making up for his 6-of-21 capturing whereas enjoying level guard as a result of Ricky Rubio was out with a hamstring damage.
“That’s a lot to ask Donovan, to put the ball in his hands at the point and then expect him to make those decisions, as well,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder stated. “Sometimes that’s harder than scoring, especially for someone that they don’t do that all game long and certainly in a setting like this. He was focused on that, he was focused on making the right play. I thought he not only made some creative passes, but he made some simple passes that were reflective of him making the right decisions.”
Jazz small ahead Joe Ingles, a frequent playful critic of his rookie teammate, joked that Mitchell made a poor resolution by trying his highlight dunk.
“His midair decision should have been to get back on transition defense,” stated Ingles, who had a career-high 27 factors. “Guarantee you that’s in the film session tomorrow. … I don’t know what his midair decision was because I’ve never been in that situation. And I never will be. But yeah, just get back in transition defense. That’s all he needs to know.”