LaMarcus Aldridge had 14, Damian Lillard had 19, but the Portland Trail Blazers suffered their largest loss of the season to the Utah Jazz, 92-76 Friday night at EnergySolutions Arena in Utah.
The Blazers played short-handed Friday night, with new Blazers Aaron Afflalo and Alonzo Gee not suiting up after Thursday's blockbuster trade. It did not seem to bother Aldridge or Lillard, who both had eight in the first period. Portland made their intentions clear from the start, getting Utah center Rudy Gobert in early foul trouble. With Enes Kanter traded on Thursday, Utah was also short-handed at the power forward position which allowed Aldridge to operate against Trevor Booker to Portland's advantage. With the Blazers shooting well, they led by six after one.
Utah stormed back in the second quarter with their bench outscoring the Blazers bench 12-4 in the period. The Jazz also grabbed more offensive rebounds, 10-1, and used their second chances to run out a 14-2 run and a four point lead. Once the Portland starters came back in, the Blazers turned the tide with Wesley Matthews scoring seven in the period. On the back of a 9-2 run, Portland led by four at halftime.
Portland's shooting went absolutely frigid in the third quarter. After Matthews and Nicolas Batum hit shots to start the quarter, the Blazers missed their next seven shots in a row, and shot just 6-of-18 in the period. Aldridge missed four shots in the period, and at one point had missed eight shots in a row, but led the team in scoring in the quarter with five. While Portland's was missing shots, Utah went berserk. Gordon Hayward had ten in the period, Trey Burke had seven, and the Jazz led by six after three.
Things only got worse in the fourth quarter as Utah started the period on a 17-0 run. With their lead as large as 21, the Blazers could not get back into the game.
Portland shot just 4-of-22 from three for the game. Utah won the battle on the offensive glass, 12-3. Chris Kaman led the bench scoring with six. The Blazers bench was outscored 41-9 until the 2:25 mark of the fourth quarter, when the Blazers benched their starters. Steve Blake did not score, and had two assists and four turnovers, until garbage time in his first game wearing the number 5. He changed the number from 25 to honor the late Jerome Kersey, who passed away suddenly on Wednesday at the age of 52.
The #Jazz out-scored the #Blazers 42-12 during one stretch here in the 2nd half. Portland went from up 8 to down 22. #PORatUTA— Jay Allen (@PDXjay) February 21, 2015
#Blazers finish the night 4/22 from 3 point land, 18%. 36% overall. #RipCity #BlazersTalk— CSNNW (@CSNNW) February 21, 2015
#Blazers shoot a season-low 36.1% from the field in the loss...also scored a season low 76 pts— Jabari Young (@JabariJYoung) February 21, 2015
#Blazers bench scores 14 points combined. Trey Burke scored 19 on his own. #Jazz with 41 off bench #RipCity— CSNNW (@CSNNW) February 21, 2015
The #Blazers' 16-point loss to the Jazz is their most lopsided loss of the season, eclipsing 15-point loss to Houston in Dec.— Joe Freeman (@BlazerFreeman) February 21, 2015