Blazers struggle again against a contender, fall at Utah 122-103

The Blazers led 56-53 at halftime, but the Jazz cruised in the third quarter to seize control and win their twenty-third consecutive home game at Vivint Arena, 122-103.

Utah outscored Portland 40-19 in the third period.

The Blazers lost another game against a top team in the Western Conference, a theme all-too-familiar for this year’s squad.  To date, Portland is 1-8 against teams ahead of them in the Western Conference standings.  The one victory came on December 28th in Los Angeles, a 115-107 win over the Lakers that saw Gary Trent, Jr. explode for 28 points off the bench.

The next three games for the Blazers all come against teams from the Eastern Conference: Sat. 4/10 vs Detroit (worst record in the East), Sun. 4/11 vs Miami and Tues., 4/13 vs Boston.  The Heat have the best record of that trio at 27-25, while the Celtics are treading water at 26-26.

Lillard expressed his frustration postgame with how the Blazers are faring against the better teams in the league.

“When we play against the top-level teams, we don’t play well,” Lillard said.  “We get put away.  At Phoenix we got put way, tonight we got put away, at Denver we got put away, Milwaukee at home we got put away, against the Clippers we got put away… I mean, it’s not like it’s a small sample size, it’s what happens.”


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Lillard said he believes the team is still capable of playing like a top team in the West, they just have not proven it on the court.

Twenty-one games remain in the regular season.  Six of those games are against teams currently above Portland in the standings, including a brutal finishing stretch at Utah, at Phoenix, and vs Denver to conclude the regular season.

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