The Utah Jazz (49-33) closed out the regular season with a dominant win over the Portland Trail Blazers (27-55). Utah clinched the Northwest Division title with the win, solidified the fifth seed in the Western Conference standings, and set themselves up to face the Dallas Mavericks in the first round.
Portland is a team that had set its sights on the future since early in the season. Most easily recognizable players were on the bench with minor injuries, as they have been for most of the season. Utah was missing Donovan Mitchell and Bojan Bogdanovic tonight, but most everyone else was healthy and playing.
The Jazz took care of business. They efficiently took care of this young Blazers lineup despite a poor shooting night. Danuel House and Juancho Hernangomez stepped into the starting lineup, making their mark on the game.
Mike Conley and Rudy Gobert led the Jazz to a 12 point lead at halftime. Conley put up 14 points, five assists, and three steals. Gobert finished the game with a solid double-double of 18 points, 13 rebounds, and two blocks. Gobert passed Deron Williams for tenth on the Utah Jazz franchise scoring list, a significant accomplishment for one of the franchise greats.
Utah went on a rampage in the second half, outscoring Portland by 19 points after the break. They kept the gas pedal down until the end of the game and won 111-80.
In the absence of Mitchell and Bogdanovic, somebody needed to step up and score for Utah. Juancho Hernangomez did just that, leading the game in scoring with 22 points. He was the only Jazz player to make more than one three-pointer, going 4-7. He also added eight rebounds, two assists, and a steal. Hernangomez has been an excellent pickup for the Jazz, and he proved it once again tonight.
The Jazz will now prepare for a first-round matchup with the Dallas Mavericks. Utah and Dallas split the season series 2-2.
Luka Doncic left his game tonight with a calf strain and will be evaluated tomorrow. That evaluation will be a massively important one for the upcoming playoff series.