Utah scrape past Portland as Clarkson makes debut
Star Jazz duo of Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert played a key role in their win over Portland
Photo via Silas Walker, Deseret News

The Jazz came into tonight's game having won 4 of their last 5 contests, and they confidently continued this streak at home against Portland, led by a magnificent, 35-point performance from Donovan Mitchell.

The Blazers showed some incredible persistence as they were down 20 points going into the final term, but ultimately fell short after an unnecessary away from play foul was committed by Carmelo Anthony.

Utah let them back into the game throughout the fourth after a commanding first three quarters, the Blazers making the most of it by hitting a plethora of shots throughout a 39-25 fourth quarter.

Damian Lillard finished with  34 points but was blocked by Rudy Gobert in an important possession down the stretch that could have cut the lead down to 2. Joe Ingles and CJ McCollum had 26 and 25 points respectively as Utah continued to play on without the injured Mike Conley.

The Blazers looked to be at their best without Lillard, at one point going on a 17-4 run with him sitting on the bench.

For Utah, Jordan Clarkson's debut brought a slightly disappointing outcome, as although he scored 9 points he did it on only 4 of 12 shooting as he struggled to find rhythm on his 3-point shot. 

Donovan Mitchell still had high praise for his new teammate.

 “He makes my life a lot easier... he can get buckets, defending, being able to communicate and learn on the fly. He was running plays that it took me a year to figure out... we’re glad to have him.”

It now comes down to whether the Jazz can keep everything together when Conley returns and remain in the hunt for a top seed in the West.

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