Clearly the MO for the Jazz should be to not waste your good quarter to start the game. The Jazz finally get off to a good start and waste it after getting out-hustled by the Blazers.
Portland was the one executing on offense, going for loose balls and rebounds, and outplaying the Jazz in almost all aspects tonight.
A lot of time you can't look at the box score and get the full story. Tonight you could. The Jazz had 17 turnovers to 17 assists . They were out-rebounded 41-31. They had the edge in every statistical category except three-point shooting.
Despite the lackluster play from the Jazz, they had a chance to change their fate with a furious run at the end of the third quarter. They were down 7 at one point, but thanks to a few threes by Raja Bell and CJ Miles, the Jazz finally got the ESA going an tied up the game at 66 all. Unfortunately, they had to stop play because it was the end of the third quarter. If they had another couple minutes, they may have been able to pull away a bit.
Instead, the Blazers were able to regroup and push their lead to 5 with about 5 minutes to go in the game. The Jazz were still hanging around (never a good phrase to use) though after a Jefferson jumper. But then this happened (click for bigger if you dare):
The Jazz finally got stops but gave up 3 offensive rebounds in a minute. After that bucket by Aldridge put the lead back to 5, the Jazz never got close until a Deron Williams three-ball with 7 seconds left in the game.
Deron teased us a bit with two threes, a layup, and a dunk (10 points) in the final 30 seconds but Portland was able to make all but one of their free-throws to seal the win.
This disheartening thing about this loss was that the Blazers were without Roy (who arguably you would have preferred he played), Prybilla, and Camby who went down in the fourth. In addition, the Blazers had 5 road wins all season before this game and were 1 for their last 12 in Utah.
As Amar pointed out, another loss against a western conference team is going to hurt the Jazz when it comes playoff time and their western conference record is used for tie-breakers.
The only silver lining is that the Jazz will get another crack at the Blazers in a few days.
- Deron ended with 31 points but they were inflated a bit by his 10 points to close out the game. They gave the chance a shot at another miraculous win. I would trade most of those points in for a few more assists (6).
- Aldridge was the man tonight. He had it going on offense. Millsap, Jefferson, and Memo couldn't stop him. He also had a huge block late in the game. 26 & 7 on the night for him.
- Camby played only played 23 minutes but was huge. He pulled down 12 boards and had 3 blocks in only 23 minutes before he sprained his ankle.
- AK left the game with back spasms and is listed day to day.
- Gordon Hayward played the entire fourth quarter again after not getting off the bench the first 36 minutes. He was 0-4 from the field and hit all 4 FTs.
Sloan said he deserved more playing time after his good showing in Minnesota. Later though he admitted that he may have made a mistake playing him that long.
- SWARM pt. 2 didn't get it done tonight in the second. They gave up a 7-point lead that the first team had built in the first quarter.
- Memo made his home-court debut and was decent. He had 6 & 5 on 3/6 shooting. I'm still not sure how they're going to rotate him in.
- I never want to lose to a Wesley Matthews team again.
- Lots of physical play that was let go in this game and a lot of tough fouls. Deron fouled Matthews good on a fast break. After Al turned the ball over, he got back to foul Fernandez and hit heads in the process. Deron pump-faked Matthews and then got fouled on the shot, sending Matthews to the floor. Camby stepped on Millsap's foot and sprained his ankle (Millsap was called for a trip).
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