Utah Jazz vs Portland Trail Blazers Recap

Utah Jazz vs Portland Trail Blazers Recap

by Alma Bean

Feature Image: Photo by Steve Dykes

The Utah Jazz (25-25) travels to take on the Portland Trail Blazers (22-25) for the third time this season for their one-game road trip.

Welcome to the City of Roses

In the beginning, Utah looked to have their answers from the perimeter as they shot 6/9 (66.7%) but somewhat struggled on the inside. Utah shot 5/12 (41.7%) within the perimeter but Drew Eubanks‘ (8 points and 10 rebounds) ability to defend in the paint led to two blocks in the first quarter. Eubanks’ defense was the highlight for Portland in the first quarter as they struggled to shoot going 9/26 (34.6%) and an upsetting 1/9 (11.1%) from the perimeter. By the end of the quarter, with the help of Lauri Markkanen’s (24/4/1) nine points, Utah was looking to run away with the lead of 31-19.

Utah Jazz on Twitter: “๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฎ ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿณ ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฎ straight games with a three for @MarkkanenLauri (Thatโ€™s a new NBA record for consecutive games with a made three by a seven-footer.) #TakeNote https://t.co/yRWCBUeZi7” / Twitter

Portland wasn’t happy with their 19-point start and responded accordingly. Portland shot an astounding 11/14 (78.6%) from the perimeter and only missed six shots for the quarter. Damian Lillard (60/7/8) accounted for nearly half of those who made three’s shooting 5/6 (83.3%) for the quarter. Portland’s phenomenal shooting didn’t stop at the three-point line, they shot 16/22 (72.7%) from the field leading to a 47-point quarter. With Nassir Little (8/3/1) to put the cherry on top with a buzzer-beater to end the quarter, Portland went into the half with the lead of 66-64.

Utah Jazz on Twitter: “23/22 vision ๐Ÿ”Ž #TakeNote https://t.co/Qw8Exxu49L” / Twitter

A Lillard Bit of This, A Lillard Bit of That

Coming back from the half, Lillard managed to stay hot. Lillard scored 24 points in the quarter on 9/14 (64.3%) shooting. Even when Utah would throw traps and double teams toward Lillard, he managed to find an opening to the basket. If Lillard was unable to split the double team, he would pull up from the three-point line. Collin Sexton (19/4/2) would play aggressive defense on Lillard, but even fully covered, Lillard somehow would make his shots. Utah continued to try and find answers for Lillard, but that answer was tough to find. Trying to respond with three-pointers of their own, Utah shot 4/9 (44.4%) from the perimeter while Lillard alone was 3/5 (60%). With the inability to defend Lillard, Utah went into the final quarter trailing 102-91.

Utah Jazz on Twitter: “Walker this way ( อกโ›โ€ฏอœส– อกโ›) #TakeNote | @WalkerKessler13 https://t.co/7Gp2IPpajd” / Twitter

The final quarter was a shootout. Both teams were able to score at will in the paint, trying to outmuscle the other. With Portland being an outside team looking in for the playoff picture, games like these could potentially make or break their season down the road. Defense within the paint suffered with this thought potentially in mind. Allowing the opponent to score quick layup guarantees that the ball will return to give the other team the opportunity to take control of the game. Utah continued to fight with their starting lineup down by 12 points with a minute left, but Utah coach Will Hardy was forced to throw the white flag as Utah comes home with a loss 134-124.

Utah Jazz on Twitter: “his ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฑ๐˜ด have ๐™๐™ค๐™ฅ๐™จ ๐Ÿฐ #TakeNote | @CollinSexton02 https://t.co/pvcsssHAaf” / Twitter

What’s Next?

Utah will return home for a five-game homestand starting Saturday against the Dallas Mavericks.

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