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Donovan Mitchell says his effort ‘can’t get any lower’ than what he showed in back-to-back losses to Rockets

Donovan Mitchell

Utah Jazz shooting guard Donovan Mitchell struggled in Games 1 and 2 against the Houston Rockets in the team’s first round series.

The Jazz’s leading scorer shot 12-of-37 in the first two games combined. Mitchell knows he has to bring more energy and play better on offense in Games 3 and 4 at home for Utah to get back in the series.

Mitchell and the Jazz went 29-12 at home during the regular season. Odds are Utah will shoot the ball better at home. They also need to defend James Harden and the Rockets stronger, too, which many believe could be accomplished by Utah abandoning its failing strategy of playing on top of Harden’s left shoulder, giving him an unimpeded path to the rim.

Mitchell averaged 23.8 points per game in the regular season, and just like his rookie campaign, played better as the season went on. He shot 43.2 percent from the floor, 36.2 percent from beyond the arc and 80.6 percent from the free-throw line. The Jazz need that version of Mitchell to show up in Games 3 and 4, otherwise Utah is going to get swept by the Rockets.

The crowd at Vivint Smart Home Arena is going to be electric in Game 3. Mitchell and the Jazz were eliminated by the Rockets in the second round of the 2018 playoffs and lost both games at home. You can bet that is in the back of the minds of the players.

Utah has to get off to a strong start in Game 3 and put the pressure on the Rockets right from the jump.