Utah Jazz: Better game but same losing result for Jazz against Blazers
Batum's 3-pointer put Portland up 100-92.
"Ah, It sucked. He was laughing about it. He didn’t think it was going in," Jazz small forward Richard Jefferson said. "I switched out on to LaMarcus (Aldridge), he lost it, just threw it out. You don’t need me to describe it. You could listen to the entire arena."
After a group moan, you could have heard a pin drop from the Mormon Tabernacle's podium.
"That’s what happens when you’re battling back, when you’re struggling," Jefferson said. "That was a shot that kind of put it out of reach for us."
Former Weber State star Damian Lillard then put the Jazz out of their misery with another trey 24 seconds later — after an offensive rebound by Batum.
Aldridge, named the Western Conference player of the week earlier in the day, finished with a game-high 24 points. Lillard scored 18 and ex-Jazzman Wesley Matthews had 16 points as the Blazers improved to a shockingly great 18-4.
The Jazz, meanwhile, fell to 4-19 despite a 20-point bench effort from shooting guard Alec Burks and a strong 19-point night from center Enes Kanter.
Rookie point guard Trey Burke had a much better outing than his limited seven-point showing Friday night, finishing with 15 points, six rebounds and five assists.
But the Jazz dropped their fourth in a row as they enter a brutal portion of the schedule, which includes seven of their next eight games on the road before Christmas Eve.
"You play good D for like 22, 23 seconds, and they hit crazy shots," Kanter lamented. "It's tough, you know. That's basketball. You can't think about it. We just need to learn how to close the games."
If it helps, the Jazz did get some credit from the other locker room.
"It was kind of the game I expected," Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. "We knew that Utah would come out and give us a good test because they play well at home."
The Jazz used to, at least. They're only 3-9 at ESA this season.
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