Donovan Mitchell thanked his Jazz teammates after he revived their playoff series hopes against the Rockets.
The Jazz pulled the series back to 3-1 with victory in Game 4 as Mitchell put up 31 points in a 107-91 defeat of the heavily favored Rockets.
And while Utah still has work to do if it’s to take Houston to seven games, the second-year shooting guard acknowledges he has become used to tricky hurdles in his time in the NBA.
“That’s who we are. We’ve had our backs up against the wall plenty of times in the past two years we’ve played together as a team,” Mitchell said. “I think this is familiar ground with us.”
“Everybody responded the way we expected them to. The biggest thing to do is to take what we did today and multiply it, because I think we can play even better.”
“I think we can do different things better — they got a few open looks — but if we continue to play with the same intensity as we did tonight, and in Game 3, then anything can happen.”
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) April 23, 2019
Despite his individual heroics Monday, Mitchell took the opportunity to pick out numerous teammates for their help in allowing him to thrive.
“I’ve played with a lot of close friends and the support I’ve got since I arrived — not just from the community but also my teammates — has been huge,” he said.
“Me being able to do what I do on a daily basis is not the norm in this league for a second-year guy – or even a first-year guy last year.
“My teammates have had my back with every mistake, with everything I’ve done well. When you have that support system in the locker room every day, it makes it easier.”
“It makes it easier when you start the game with two straight turnovers. It makes it easier when Jae [Crowder] sometimes is vocal, sometimes is leading by example. Rudy [Gobert] sometimes is vocal, sometimes is leading by example.
“Having guys you can look to [helps]. Kyle [Korver], I’ve asked him a thousand questions since he’s been here about whatever.
“Being down 3-0, you’ve got to talk. I have so many resources I can go to. As a player who wants to learn, I’m finding ways to learn.
“It’s not always going to be perfect, but to have team-mates who have your back through the ups and downs means the world.”