Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports
In the first half of a home-and-home series with the Utah Jazz, the Portland Trail Blazers lost the game, and possibly Wesley Matthews.
The Blazers were led by Damian Lillard, playing near his alma mater, Weber State University. He scored 26 points with 5 assists. LaMarcus Aldridge added another double-double, with 16 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists.
Wesley Matthews left the game in the third quarter with a rolled ankle. X-Rays were negative, but he was being escorted around in a wheelchair. Also, Ronnie Price went down with a late injury as well, possibly also a rolled ankle. We'll update on their statuses when we get word.
First Quarter: Could've been worse. The Blazers kept a slim lead early, but once LaMarcus went out, the scoring went away. The Jazz focused on the Blazer small guys, no longer worried about the middle, and they effectively forced poor shots. The Blazers missed 9 straight shots to fall behind by 8. They were still down by 7 at the horn.
IS THERE SOME SORT OF LID ON THE BASKET!!!!!!!??????
Second Quarter: It got worse. The Blazer woes continued, as all the starters returned but Utah's lead continued to grow. The Blazers eventually scored 6 total points in 12 minutes of play, and Utah's lead reached 13. It reached 15 at halftime.
Jazz outshooting the Blazers 61% to 33%. At least we're outrebounding them by -11.
Third Quarter: It didn't take long for the lead to reach 17. The Blazers cut the lead to 12, but Matthews went down with the aforementioned injury, and left the game. Utah kept trying to push the lead, but Lillard personally took over, keeping the Blazers within 12 at the end of the quarter.
Jazz fan here, popped over from our boards. Just wanted to share with you that we all really hope Wes will be ok and recover quickly. He’s a good cat.
by jon.grimes [Thanks Jon!]
Fourth Quarter: Lillard stayed hot, cutting the lead to 8 with a three-pointer at the eight minute mark. As they fought to stay close, Aldridge cut the lead to 6 with with an offensive putback. Lillard said "my turn!" and cut it to 5 with another three-pointer. Utah was having trouble scoring, giving the Blazers multiple chances. They couldn't convert, and Utah slowly pulled away as the chances ran out. The Blazers try to recover overnight, and will see these guys again tomorrow.
Stay tuned for more analysis from Blazer’s Edge later tonight. In the meantime, check out the upcoming Blazers schedule. -- Tim