Trail Blazers dismantled by the surging Utah Jazz, 115-96
The Utah Jazz arrived in Portland Sunday on an eight-game winning streak. And they beat the Trail Blazers eight ways to Sunday, stretching that streak to nine.
The Utah Jazz beat the Portland Trail Blazers 115-96 Sunday at the Moda Center. At times, Portland seemed a step slower than their Northwest Division rivals.
Utah had more assists (23-16), points in the paint (44-30), fast-break points (16-8) and rebounds (58-37) than Portland.
The Trail Blazers had won nine in a row at the Moda Center, a nice development considering that home wins were hard to come by earlier in the season. But after a competitive first half, the Jazz simply took the Trail Blazers apart, outscoring Portland 38-19 in the third.
The Trail Blazers started the game shooting just 5-of-17, but they still had an 18-15 lead early.
Damian Lillard picked up where he left off against Sacramento, scoring 13 points in the first quarter, seven of them on free throws.
And Zach Collins made a nice catch and pass, leading to an Ed Davis dunk. Here’s what that looked like:
Here’s how it looked after one:
But in the second quarter, the Jazz ate into that lead with the Blazers second unit on the floor. But with 7:13 left in the half, Portland was still up 30-26.
Jusuf Nurkic was a nonfactor, playing just nine minutes and not scoring a single point (0-for-4 from the field) before leaving for the locker room with an apparent injury (or two). Shabazz Napier looked good off the bench, shooting 2-for-2 from three and scoring six points in the half.
The Trail Blazers, whose largest lead was 11 points, went to the locker room at halftime with a 44-43 lead.
Check out these two tweets that give you more info than I feel like typing right now:
Tweet No. 1
Tweet No. 2
On to the …
This is how the half started, and it sucked every bit as much as it sounds:
Nurkic was being outplayed by Rudy Gobert, who finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Nurkic then went to the locker room and did not return to the game.
This is what it felt like:
Here’s all you need to know about the third quarter: It was Jazz 38, Blazers 19.
The Jazz, who are playing better than any team in basketball, won going away; they improve to 28-28. The Trail Blazers drop to 31-26 and fall behind fifth-place Oklahoma City in the conference standings.
The Jazz and the Trail Blazers will play two more times this season: In Utah on Feb. 23 and in Portland on April 11. The Jazz have won the first two meetings.
Lillard finished with 39 points on 12-of-25 shooting. CJ McCollum had 22 points on 8-of-22 shooting. Rookie Donovan Mitchell had 27 points for the Jazz. Joe Ingles poured in 24 and was 6-of-9 from three.
One last thing: Every team in the Northwest Division is at .500 or better. It’s the only division that can make that claim at the moment.
Next up for the Trail Blazers: Wednesday 7:30 p.m. PST tip at the Moda Center against the Golden State Warriors.
Should be a piece of cake. For somebody.