SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Jazz fell to the Portland Trail Blazers 109-104 Monday night at Vivint Smart Home Arena.
After soundly winning the first half of play, the Jazz were bested by the Blazers in the second until late in the fourth quarter. A last-minute rally attempt by Utah ultimately came up short.
Donovan Mitchell led all scorers with 36 points, while Portland was led by Damian Lillard and Jusuf Nurkic, who finished with 26 and 22 points, respectively.
Here are three takeaways from the Jazz’s loss to the Trail Blazers.
- Statistically at least, Mitchell had yet another excellent outing for Utah, this time in a loss. The second-year guard finished with a game-high 36 points on 12 of 28 shooting (43 percent). He added seven rebounds and five assists to his name, and shot 10 for 12 at the free throw line. Mitchell struggled from deep, however, and made just two of eight 3-point attempts. He also tied for the team-high in turnovers, with four. Also with four turnovers? Rudy Gobert. Gobert did record yet another double-double, with 10 points and 13 rebounds, but the Frenchman made only four of his 10 shot attempts.
- It was a tale of two halves Monday night, as has often been the case with the Jazz this season. Utah outscored Portland by seven points in the first half, 51-44. The Jazz held the Blazers to only 15 points in the second quarter after they’d given up 29 in the opening frame. The stout defense did not carry over to the second half, however, as Portland erupted for 39 points in the third and added 25 in the fourth to put the game away.
- No one was better for the Blazers in the third period than Nurkic. The center scored 17 points in the quarter, while C.J. McCollum added nine of his 14 total points. And while Lillard, Nurkic and McCollum are the normal standouts in any Portland victory, the Blazers benefitted from timely contributions off the bench as well, notably in the fourth quarter. Meyers Leonard (eight points), Jake Layman (12) and Evan Turner (10) combined for 30 points in the game. Nearly half of that output, 13 points, came in the final period.
Wednesday, January 23, vs. Denver (31-14), 8:30 p.m.
Friday, January 25, vs. Minnesota (22-24), 7 p.m.
Sunday, January 27, at Minnesota (22-24), 5 p.m.