NBA playoffs 2019: Jazz's Kyle Korver defends Donovan Mitchell after missed game-tying 3

Jazz veteran Kyle Korver offered praise for young star Donovan Mitchell after the guard missed a game-tying 3-pointer in the final seconds of Utah’s Game 3 of the opening-round series against the Rockets in the Western Conference playoffs. 

The Jazz ended up losing, 104-101, after getting off to a 15-0 start while James Harden struggled with his shooting. The loss put the Jazz at 0-3 for the series, but if Mitchell’s 3-pointer had gone in with 8.7 seconds left, it would have given Utah a chance to win Game 3.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Korver’s media scrum was over and all the cameras were packed up when Korver said: “Can I just say one thing?” 

From there, he went on to deliver a motivating soliloquy about Mitchell and how the game didn’t come down to his missed 3-pointer.  

Take a look at Korver’s full comments on Mitchell:

“I have never been around a young player like Donovan Mitchell. I have never seen someone so young take ownership of a team, take ownership of his play, do it with charisma, do it with class. I have never seen that in my 16 years in the NBA.

“He missed a tough shot tonight, but it’s just going to be part of his story. If you’ve played any meaningful basketball in the NBA, you have a shot like that. If you don’t, that means you haven’t played in meaningful games, or you haven’t been trusted by your teammates or coaches to take that shot. I don’t care who it is in history, everyone has a shot they want back. This is going to be part of the story at the end of the day. 

“Because of who he is, he’s going to put too much on that shot. But we missed free throws, we missed dunks, we missed layups, we missed 3s. It was not about that shot. It was not about that shot. We had so many chances to win that game.

“But I’m super proud of him. He came out and like, he heard that he hadn’t played as well as he wanted to in the first couple of games, and he put the whole thing on his back. For a young guy, 21 years old or whatever he is, that’s really special. He is on a great path in the NBA.

“At the end of the day, this is just going to be part of his story, part of his journey. He’s just going to keep building on it.”