PORTLAND, Ore. — It's just the preseason. Exhibition games don't count. The slate will be wiped clean by the time the real stuff starts next week.
Despite its overall insignificance to the standings, this is not the kind of start the Jazz envisioned or wanted.
In the first of its two preseason contests, Utah trailed the Portland Trail Blazers 54-42 at halftime.
Second-year power forward Derrick Favors leads the Jazz with a strong 11-point, eight-rebound performance off the bench. Utah has also received six points apiece from rookie Enes Kanter (five boards) and Jeremy Evans.
Other than that, well, just be thankful it's the preseason.
Paul Millsap (right quad tendinitis) is unavailable, so coach Tyrone Corbin went with an interesting starting lineup that included a frontcourt of Mehmet Okur and Al Jefferson along with C.J. Miles, Raja Bell and Devin Harris.
That group struggled, falling behind 18-6 before Corbin turned to the bench. The five starters combined only scored 11 points.
Led by ex-Jazzman Wesley Matthews' 13 points, the Blazers raced out to a huge lead that blossomed to 20 before a late Utah run trimmed it to 12.