Fil-Am Jordan Clarkson scored a career playoff-high 18 points but it was not enough to lift the Utah Jazz past the Denver Nuggets in Game 1 of their NBA Western Conference first round series.
The Fil-American guard shot 8-of-17 from the field while adding four rebounds and three assists in the Jazz’s 135-125 overtime loss to the Nuggets inside the NBA bubble in Orlando.
Utah’s loss also spoiled the 57-point explosion of Donovan Mitchell, who set a franchise record for most points in a playoff game.
Game 2 is set at 4 a.m. Thursday morning Manila time.
Clarkson stepped up for the Jazz in the absence of point guard Mike Conley, who won’t be available until Game 3 after leaving the bubble to witness the birth of his son.
He scored eight straight points bridging the first and second quarters, highlighted by a three-pointer near the end of the opening period and a difficult step-back trey off Mason Plumlee to beat the shot clock early in the second.
His performance came after The Athletic’s Joe Vardon reported that Clarkson has been getting praises from everyone within the Jazz organization.
One person told Vardon that the member of the 2018 Gilas Pilipinas team is “the realest mother______ we have.”
“The organization, top to bottom, loves Jordan Clarkson,” Vardon said. “They find him funny and personable, and also willing to be coached.”