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Portland Trail Blazers 99 Utah Jazz 85 Game Recap: Gordon Hayward's big night eclipsed by Damian Lillard

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Every Rose Garden (Moda center) has it's thorns

Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

The Utah Jazz played their first game after a whopping two days off against the Portland Trail Blazers, and fell 99-85. The first quarter was close, and encouraging at times, as the good guys finished up one after one. Rodney Hood started things off with a pair of threes in the first, on his way to his 19 points on the night. The second and third quarters were understandably rougher as the home team, crowd, and apparently refs, helped push back against the visitors. Portland finished the second quarter +7, and the third +9 -- which meant that Utah went into the fourth down 15 points. It didn't finish with a come from behind victory tonight (remember that crazy overtime game against Portland back when Jerry Sloan finished with a Carlos Boozer / Kyrylo Fesenko front line?). Portland was powered by Damian Lillard, who would finish with 21 points, 10 assists, 7 rebounds, 2 steals, and most importantly, the win. He did it by just making shots, including going 4/7 from deep. He would only go to the free throw line once in the entire game. Gordon Hayward tried to equal the star point guard's production, but fell shot as the Jazz did as well. Gordon finished with 19 points, 9 assists, 6 rebounds, and 2 steals. While Gordon didn't hit four threes, he had a 9:1 assist to turn over ratio, which is a lot nicer than the 10:4 (2.5:1) that Lillard finished with.

This game wasn't as close as it could have been, but it was nice to see some of these players perform as we one day expect them to average (when given the opportunity). Trey Burke scored 15 off the bench to go along with his 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, and 1 three. Trey Lyles was a real stretch big, going 2/2 from deep on his way to 16 points. Trevor Booker hustled his way to 7 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals. It was a mixed bag outside of them.

The centers Rudy Gobert and Jeff Withey combined to shoot 1/11, scoring only 5 points (thanks to the free throw line). However, they did manage 14 rebounds and 6 blocks between them. Whatever pixie dust that was powering Chris Johnson seems to have worn off, and Joe Ingles looked, well, sloppy out there at times. Those two guys combined for four turn overs, and went 0/6 from the field including 0/3 from deep.

I can only dream of how this team will look with Derrick Favors, Alec Burks, and Dante Exum back. Right now we see an incomplete team that is competing incompletely every night. They are going to get better.

Utah hosts the Sacramento Kings tomorrow at the Aunt Viv.

GO JAZZ GO!