Rudy Gobert had 22 points and 14 rebounds, and the Utah Jazz beat the Portland Trail Blazers 120-105 with star Donovan Mitchell out with a sore back
PORTLAND, Ore. — Rudy Gobert had 22 points and 14 rebounds, and the Utah Jazz beat the Portland Trail Blazers 120-105 on Wednesday night with star Donovan Mitchell out with a sore back.
Portland’s Damian Lillard and Norman Powell each scored 32 points. The Trail Blazers were missing seven players in the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols for the second straight game.
Utah’s dominance started on the inside and continued all night long, outscoring Portland 74-30 in the paint.
Utah’s Hassan Whiteside had 15 points and 11 rebounds off the bench, while reserve forward Rudy Gay pitched in 21 points.
Powell was key to keeping the Blazers close, scoring 25 of his 32 points in the first half. Powell’s 25 points marked the highest-scoring half by a Blazer this season, but the outside shooting wasn’t enough to overcome Utah’s success around the basket.
Lillard’s 3-pointer cut Utah’s lead to 76-70 with 7:32 remaining in the third quarter, the closest Portland had been since the first half.
A 3-pointer by Portland’s Tony Snell at the halftime buzzer cut Utah’s lead to 69-59 after the Jazz led by 16 during the first half.
With Utah up 111-91 with 4:59 left in the game, Lillard was called for a technical foul. He was then subbed out for the remainder of the game.
Jazz: Normally known for his scoring, Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson has averaged over five assists per game in Utah’s last three, which his coach believes is a response to the outside shooting struggles for the NBA’s reigning 6th Man of the Year. “I think the biggest thing for Jordan is he hasn’t shot the ball as well as he has. That’s something that happens when you’re a good shooter and you can’t help but ask the question, is that he’s really tried to throw himself into other parts of the game.”
Trail Blazers: With starting center Jusuf Nurkic and reserve big man Cody Zeller among the seven Portland players in the protocols, the Blazers added some size by signing 6-foot-8 Reggie Perry to a 10-day contract. “He’s played a little and has experience. It’s not going to be new to him playing in an NBA game,” Blazers acting coach Scott Brooks said. “He’s a pretty built guy. I think he is going to help us in that category and he’s going to help us because Larry (Nance Jr.) is the only big man we have.” Perry had four points and three rebounds in 14 minutes of action.
Jazz: Host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night.
Trail Blazers: At the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night.
More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports