With just three games left in the regular season and the four seed locked up, it would have been easy for the Trail Blazers to check out early and accept a meaningless loss to the Jazz. Despite missing LaMarcus Aldridge and Arron Afflalo, Portland played Utah close for a large stretch of the game, but ultimately fell, 105-111 at Moda Center on Saturday night.
Early on, it looked as if the Jazz would end up running away with this one. Utah took a commanding 32-19 lead after one quarter, shooting 52 percent in the period. Robin Lopez was the only Blazer that really had a good quarter, finishing with eight points and two rebounds.
After falling behind in the first, the Trail Blazers looked to make up some solid ground in the period, and go into the locker room with a manageable deficit. Portland looked better as a unit, but they still weren’t able to make the Jazz look vulnerable. The Blazers outscored Utah by three in the quarter, but still trailed by double-digits going into the intermission.
The third quarter was Portland’s best quarter by far. The home team managed to completely evaporate Utah’s double-digit in less than 12 minutes. This was an impressive quarter for Portland, especially when you consider that LaMarcus Aldridge and Arron Affalo were sitting out. For the second straight game, the Trail Blazers faced a close game going into the final quarter, leading 80-77 after three.
The fourth quarter was a back and forth affair, with neither team being able to establish a sizable lead. With 2:30 left in regulation, the Jazz called a timeout that would prove to be the turning point in this contest. In the minute following, Portland was 0-for-4, while the Jazz hit each of their four attempts. A few easy Utah baskets in the final two minutes sealed the deal for the Jazz, going home with a 111-105 win.
Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum led the way for the Trail Blazers, going for 28 and 26 points, respectively. Robin Lopez added a performance of 21 points and six rebounds. Trevor Booker had a career-high 36 points for the Jazz.
With the loss, the Trail Blazers move to 51-29 on the season, and will finish the year with a 32-9 home record. After the Clippers win tonight, Portland is officially eliminated from getting home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
- Shooting percentage: Portland 47% — Utah 46%
- Three point percentage: Portland 20% — Utah 35%
- Free throws: Portland 17-22 — Utah 33-42
- Rebounds: Portland 39 — Utah 48
- Assists: Portland 22 — Utah 20
- Points in the paint: Portland 46 — Utah 58
- Fastbreak points: Portland 11 — Utah 6
- Bench points: Portland 16 — Utah 45
- Portland’s 32-9 home record this season is the team’s best mark since the 2008 season.
- Robin Lopez’s 21 points is his most as a Trail Blazer.
- CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard combined for 54 points.
- Allen Crabbe scored a career-high 11 points.
- CJ McCollum had his third 20-point game, all of which have come after March 24th.
- The Blazers are now eliminated from getting home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.