Sam Forencich/NBAE

Defense falters, but Jazz outshoot the Blazers to notch fourth straight win

by Matt Payne

The Jazz overcame a slow start to stay undefeated in preseason play with a 123-112 victory over the Blazers Sunday night in Portland.

"We didn't play good defense, and a lot of it was just not being focused," Jazz head coach Quin Snyder said after the game. "There were breakdowns, and I don't think we had the level of intensity we needed against a team with terrific offensive players."

Portland's big three of Damian Lillard (23 points), CJ McCollum (21 points) and Jusuf Nurkic (20 points) combined for 64 points on 25-for-33 (75.8 percent) shooting. None of them played in the fourth quarter.

After trailing by 15 early in the third quarter, the Jazz got hot from the outside to close the gap. Threes by Donovan Mitchell, Ricky Rubio and Jae Crowder got Utah's offense going, and then Grayson Allen, Georges Niang and Royce O'Neale connected on triples of their own to lead Utah on a 19-0 run.

The Jazz turned a five-point deficit into a double-digit advantage in a span of two minutes and 11 seconds late in the fourth quarter.

Mitchell scored a team-high 21 points before he rolled his ankle and exited the game for good with 3:03 left in the third quarter.

Ingles (12 points, five assists), Alec Burks (12 points, two steals), Derrick Favors (11 points), Rudy Gobert (10 points), Rubio (10 points, four steals) and Crowder (10 points) also scored in double figures for the Jazz.

Utah shot the ball well from all over the court—47.1 percent overall, 50.0 percent (18-for-36) from beyond the arc, 85.2 percent (23-for-27) from the free-throw line—in the victory.

Notable

Utah is now 4-0 this preseason. ... 11 Jazz players scored at least seven points. ... Danté Exum (knee) returned to action after missing the past two games. He made his first shot—a 3-pointer from the wing—and finished with nine points, two rebounds and two assists in 16 minutes. ... Allen is now 11-for-21 (52.4 percent) from 3-point range this preseason. ... Utah grabbed 16 steals, with Rubio (four), Mitchell (three) and O'Neale (three) leading the way.

Up Next

The Jazz will conclude their preseason schedule when they visit Sacramento to play the Kings on Thursday night at 8pm.