The Utah Jazz faced off with the Portland Trail Blazers in their 2nd game of the NBA’s In-Season Tournament.
The Utah Jazz were glad to be home from their recent road trip, and it showed with a spring in their step from the get-go in this game.
The biggest thing early? 0 turnovers for the Jazz in the 1st quarter, which went a long way to a 36-28 lead.
For a change, the Jazz were positive in the turnovers forced, versus turnovers committed. They had 11 steals and 6 blocked shots, compared to 12 turnovers on the night, and scored early and often off those created opportunities.
The Jazz also owned the paint, scoring 56 paint points versus 40 for Portland.
After Portland amassed 50/41/83 shooting through the mid-3rd quarter, they went cold late, finishing 42/31/70 for the game, including back-to-back missed free throws in the 4th, much to the delight of the Jazz fans who now get Chick-Fil-A chicken as a result.
Keyonte George had another good game, with 15 points, 4 boards, 7 assists, a steal, and 2 turnovers. Had a few good looks that didn’t fall, but he’s steady and definitely looking to create for his teammates.
Jordan Clarkson was spectacular, with 30 points on an efficient 12-19 from the field, and just a single turnover.
Lauri Markkanen had 21 points and finished strong after shooting poorly early in the game.
Collin Sexton played under control and was a huge boost off the bench, with 13 points, 7 assists, 2 steals, a block, and a single turnover.
All 5 Jazz starters had at least 1 steal, and 3 of them had a blocked shot (Collins had 3 of them to lead the team).
If there was anything the Jazz need to work on, it is guarding big men – Jerami Grant and DeAndre Ayton combined for 48 points.
The Jazz advance to 2-0 in the In-Season Tournament, and 4-7 on the season. They are 2-1 since changing to Keyonte George as the starting point guard, a good sign moving forward, and now have their first winning streak of the season (2 games).
The Jazz are now off for a few days, before facing Phoenix (4-6) on Friday and again on Sunday, both at the Delta Center.