SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - The Utah Jazz guard struggled with a bout of nausea and light-headedness before halftime Tuesday night. He felt even worse after his individual performance on offense and defense.
Mitchell did virtually everything right in the second half.
He scored 45 points and lifted the Jazz to a 112-109 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinals series.
Mitchell imposed his will offensively after halftime, scoring 32 points to rally the Jazz from a double-digit deficit. Jordan Clarkson and Bojan Bogdanovic chipped in 18 points apiece. Mitchell and Clarkson combined for 12 3-pointers.
Kawhi Leonard scored 23 points to lead Los Angeles. Paul George chipped in 20 points and 11 rebounds. Luke Kennard added 18 points while making a team-high four 3-pointers.
Utah and Los Angeles will play Game 2 on Thursday in Salt Lake City.
The Jazz trailed by as many as 14 points before rallying and overtaking the Clippers in the fourth quarter. Utah took the lead for good on a 21-9 run bookended by 3-pointers from Bogdanovic. His second one gave the Jazz a 103-93 lead with 5:22 remaining.
George hit a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 112-109 in the final minute. But Rudy Gobert blocked a potential game-tying shot from Marcus Morris with a second left to preserve the victory.
The Jazz went ice cold on offense during the first quarter. Utah jumped out to a 10-2 lead after Mitchell made a pair of 3-pointers. Over the next 8 1/2 minutes, the Jazz missed 20 consecutive shots. 15 of the 20 shots were contested by the Clippers. Utah started 3-of-25 from the field before Clarkson buried a corner three to break the ice.