Despite a gutsy fourth quarter effort to nearly overcome a 23-point deficit, the Portland Trail Blazers weren’t able to fully dig themselves out, eventually losing on the road to the Utah Jazz, 121-115.
After falling behind 86-63 with 3:25 remaining in the third quarter, Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum led an inspired comeback the pulled the Blazers all the way within one with time to spare in the fourth, but fell just short of pulling off the Christmas miracle.
Utah looked like they were about to collapse before Donovan Mitchell restored some order in the final minutes and did just enough to ice it.
Lillard led Portland with 34 points, 8 assists and 5 rebounds, while McCollum, who was virtually invisible in the first half, finished with 25 points and 4 rebounds. Mitchell led all scorers with 35 points for the Jazz and Joe Ingles added 26 points and 5 boards.
Jingles all the way. The early damage that really did Portland in was primarily at the red hot hand of Joe Ingles, who started a perfect 6-6 from the field - including five threes - which helped gave Utah enough of a cushion to survive the Blazers later on.
The S(Ant)a Clause. Anfernee Simons has struggled as of late, but turned in one of his better performances of the season with 15 points on 7-9 shooting and 10 rebounds in 28 minutes. He was also part of the lineup that made the run down the stretch.
The Blazers get a day off before returning home to host the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday.