One game after the Blazers looked like a mess against the Suns, Portland stomped the Jazz in Salt Lake City. The close final score of 126-118 was not representative of the ending. Portland sprinted ahead early with some hot shooting, then held off every Utah surge afterward. Once the fourth quarter arrived, the Blazers pulled away to a 20-point lead and never looked back, eventually giving minutes to the unguaranteed players.
Hassan Whiteside re-injured his ankle when he landed on Damian Lillard’s foot in the third quarter. We’ll have updates as they arrive.
A few quick thoughts.
- A big improvement from the previous game. After a disastrous defensive performance against the Suns, the Blazers held their own in Utah tonight.
- The offense comes alive. After a mixed bag of offense in previous games, Portland looked sharp, and the shots were finally falling. Lillard and McCollum were on fire from the field, and they kept the Jazz on their heels all night.
- A great night for Zach. Collins shot 6-6 from the field including 1-1 from downtown for 13 points. Add in 2 blocks and 5 rebounds, and he held down his position nicely.
- That’s probably it for the rotation in preseason. The Blazers play one more game tomorrow night in Denver, but key players are expected to be shut down to prepare for the regular season opener.