Trail Blazers Exit Tournament Play in Las Vegas with Loss to Jazz

The Portland Trail Blazers bowed out of the tournament portion of the Samsung NBA Summer League in Las Vegas Wednesday night, falling to the Utah Jazz, 86-71, in the first round of the playoff action at the Thomas & Mack Center. The loss drops the Blazers’ Summer League record to 1-3. 

Portland invitee Pierre Jackson led all scorers with 18 points on 8-of-18 shooting from the field. Forwards Noah Vonleh and Jake Layman each scored 10 points in the defeat. 

Playing four games in five days, including a double-overtime effort against the Jazz on Tuesday, it seemed fatigue started to set in when it came to the Blazers' legs. And while the Portland's fortunes thus far in Las Vegas haven't been favorable when it comes to wins and losses, the coaching staff is focused on the broader strokes of developing the team's youth.

"Our guys have been going for two months straight this summer," coach Dale Osbourne told media. "That's something we've got to discuss, whether to give them a break. Obviously, as competitors we want to win games, but we have to look at the big picture. The big picture with our guys is getting them ready, giving them minutes. After each game we sit down, we watch film with them, so it's a process.

"We like to learn this as a learning tool."

German export Tibor Pleiss led Utah with 20 points and eight rebounds to lead Utah, while Jazz rookie Joel Bolomboy recorded 14 points and nine rebounds to aid his team in victory. Aaron Craft and Spencer Butterfield each scored 11 points for the Utah backcourt. 

Blazers point guard Shabazz Napier missed Wednesday’s game after being ruled out with a shoulder strain suffered in Tuesday afternoon’s meeting with the Jazz. Utah big man Trey Lyles, who scored 30 points in the Jazz’s double-overtime loss to the Blazers Tuesday, sat the game out for rest. 

The Trail Blazers close out play in Las Vegas Friday afternoon when they play the Boston Celtics at COX Pavilion (3:00 pm / NBATV).