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Donovan Mitchell 'upset' at Jazz for sitting him in Game 1; cleared for Game 2

Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (R), shown March 16, 2021, has been out of the lineup since April 16 because of a sprained right ankle. File Photo by CJ Gunther/EPA-EFE
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (R), shown March 16, 2021, has been out of the lineup since April 16 because of a sprained right ankle. File Photo by CJ Gunther/EPA-EFE

May 24 (UPI) -- All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell admitted Monday that he was "frustrated and upset" with the Utah Jazz's decision to scratch him from Sunday's playoff opener against the Memphis Grizzlies.

Mitchell, however, said he was focused on moving forward after the Jazz's medical staff cleared him to compete in Game 2 against the Grizzlies on Wednesday.

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The 24-year-old Mitchell has been out of the team's lineup since April 16 because of a sprained right ankle. According to ESPN, the surprising decision to hold him out of the 112-109 loss in the first game of the series increased tensions within the Jazz about his recovery.

"For me, for my team, I was definitely frustrated and upset that I wasn't able to play," Mitchell told reporters Monday. "I'm a competitor. I felt I was ready to play. I felt ready to go, and unfortunately, that wasn't the case.

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"That was not how it happened. I was ready to go when I spoke [to the media after Sunday's shootaround], and they came to the decision that that's what it was. The biggest thing for us is moving forward. We lost Game 1, and we've got [expletive] to handle. Excuse my language, we've got [expletive] to handle moving forward."

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Mitchell, who wasn't listed on the team's injury report over the weekend, practiced with the Jazz on Monday -- like he did in the three days leading up to the Western Conference first-round series -- and the team announced afterward that he would be available to play Wednesday when Utah faces the eighth-seeded Grizzlies.

The two-time NBA All-Star averaged career bests of 26.4 points and 5.2 assists this season. He missed the Jazz's last 16 regular-season games as Utah (52-20) clinched the league's best record and the top seed in the West.

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