After a competitive first half, which witnessed nearly all of the game's 10 lead changes and seven ties, the Utah Jazz opened this game up with a dominant third quarter.
They outscored the Portland Trail Blazers 40-19 and never let up from that moment on. The 122-103 win combined with the Suns loss in Los Angeles, helps them build back an appreciable 2.5 game lead for the league's best record.
On the other hand, the Damian Lillard-led squad slipped to their third loss in four games, and are now hold just a one-game lead over the surging Dallas Mavericks for the seventh seed - a spot that will force them to participate in the Play-in tournament.
That said, here are some quick thoughts from this one:
Mitchell's big game
Less than 24 hours after dropping 41 against the Suns, Donovan Mitchell led the way in this one as well with 37 points on 14-of-25 percent shooting from the field.
Finishing as one of six Jazz players in double figures, Mitchell had the game-high points tally despite making just one of his eight 3-point attempts.
too smoooooth pic.twitter.com/oFpTCi6I82- utahjazz (@utahjazz) April 9, 2021
Rudy Gobert was the other top contributor for the hosts as he finished with a huge double-double of 18 points and 20 rebounds.
Back-to-back key losses for Portland
After four straight wins on the road, the Trail Blazers have dropped two huge games in the West. After losing a couple of days earlier to the Clippers by 17, they lose this one by 19.
More importantly, in a tightly-packed Western Conference, Portland will simply have to win more games having lost nearly every head-to-head against teams above them.
Blazers have lost season series, lose tiebreaker to Utah (not that it will matter).- Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) April 9, 2021
Blazers have lost season series to Utah, Phoenix, and the Clipppers. 1-1 vs. Lakers, 0-1 vs. Nuggets.
In this one, their backcourt struggled and only finished 42 points on a combined 16-of-42 shooting from the field.
Jazz extend record home win streak
After two hiccups on the road in Dallas and Phoenix, the Jazz returned home and got back to their winning ways.
This victory extends their franchise-record home winning streak to 23, having not lost at the Vivint Smart Home Arena since New Year's Eve.
Overall, for the season, Utah are 23-2 at home.
Consolation win in big week
The league-leading Jazz came into this week, a big one where they were slated to play Dallas, Phoenix and Portland, with a nine-game streak - all favourable games against not-so-tough opponents.
However, blowing out the Trail Blazers helps them wrap up the season series (2-0), and get at least one worthy win on their record. In two matchups this season, Utah has beaten Portland by a combined 39 points.
📹| Second night of a back-to-back? No problem.#podiumpostgame | @podiumhq pic.twitter.com/iaypF94UkQ- utahjazz (@utahjazz) April 9, 2021
Despite setting themselves apart from the field this season, looks like the Jazz still have to prove themselves in the playoffs, especially with their recent 4-3 record against teams above .500 teams since March 1.
Jazz shooting slump continues
In their three big games this week, the reason the Jazz have struggled is their shooting - from 3-point land to be precise.
A team that leads the league in made 3-pointers with an average of 16.8 on 39.0 percent efficiency, has been way off in each of these last three games. Against Dallas, they made 12 from long range at 27.3 percent, in Phoenix they knocked down 11 in 44 attempts, and in this one, they shot 12-of-42 (28.6 percent).
The reason, they were able to pull away from the Trail Blazers is because they caught fire in one quarter - the third which they won by 21.
The Jazz have a day off before they host the Sacramento Kings, meanwhile the Portland Trail Blazers head back home and host the Pistons after a day off.
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