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JAZZ END SUMMER LEAGUE WITH A WIN

SHARE JAZZ END SUMMER LEAGUE WITH A WIN

After eight days of being poked, pushed, tripped, and dunked over, the Utah Jazz rookie/free agent team closed out the Rocky Mountain Revue summer league with a sigh of relief - the kind of relief that comes only after a long wait.

The Jazz used 23 points from second-year man Blue Edwards to muster an 83-75 win over Portland in the consolation bracket game Friday night. The win left the Jazz and Portland at 1-3 in league play, while Phoenix (4-0) beat Sacramento (2-2) 110-80 in the championship game.As anyone who watched the last week's happenings knows, nothing has come easy for the Jazz lately. They began their five-game losing streak last Friday when they fell to the U.S. National Team in Portland, followed by a loss to the Trail Blazers rookies. Then came three straight losses in the summer league, to Portland, Sacramento and Phoenix.

The final loss, a Thursday night debacle in which they lost by 60 points to Phoenix, made it five losses in seven days.

"You've got to be realistic in this league," said Jazz Coach Jerry Sloan. "We played five games in seven days before tonight. The other teams had some extra days off. I've played this game and I know what I'm talking about. Last night (against Phoenix), we could have been playing against ourselves and had a tough time. We were tired."

Tired or not, the Jazz didn't appear interested in making it a winless summer. Although Portland, a 102-100 winner over the Jazz on Monday, took an 18-15 first-quarter lead, the Jazz fought back in the second. Edwards led the charge, and by the time the quarter was two minutes old, the Jazz were up 23-18.

Portland, of course, was not in much better shape. The Blazers came into Friday's contest having played four games in seven days. In the third meeting in eight days with the Jazz, their fatigue showed, too. "Portland was in the same boat we were," said Sloan. "They looked tired to me."

Although the teams put out decent effort, Friday's game lacked the snap and sizzle of Monday's affair. That game, a brutally physical, hotly contested affair was played to a packed house at the East High gymnasium. This time, due to the televising of the game and the assessment of an admission charge on the final night, no more than 250 people showed.

The lack of fan support had no discernible effect on the teams, who decided to make it serious business, regardless. In the fourth quarter both Portland forward Cliff Robinson and the Jazz's Edwards picked up their second technical fouls and were automatically ejected. The ejection was the second of the week for Edwards, who was also tossed after fighting with Portland's Drazen Petrovic on Monday.

"Blue played well tonight, and he did it after having migraine headaches all day," said Sloan. "But he's got to learn to control himself in those situations with the officials. It's a learning process for him; it's how he gets better."

After falling behind 54-50 in the third period, the Jazz took the lead for good, scoring nine straight points. The Jazz got a flurry of great play by Cedric Ball, who scored 10 points in a three-minute span. Ball netted only two points the first half, but added 10 in the third quarter and three in the fourth to finish with 15. Guard Mark Tillmon scored 18.

The Jazz built their lead to 17 points in the fourth quarter, helped by the two technicals on Robinson.

Neither team shot well. Utah made 43 percent of its shots while Portland settled for just 39 percent. But the Jazz out-rebounded the Suns 46-38.

"I expected us to come back," said Sloan. "We're not going to come in here thinking they were going to lay down. If they had, I don't know that I'd have brought anybody back (for the veteran's camp next October)."

Phoenix 110, Sacramento 80

The Suns finished the summer league undefeated, as Cedric Ceballos and Kenny Battle scored 21 points apiece.

Phoenix led all the way, taking a five-point first quarter lead. By the second half they were running away with things.

Sacramento had six players in double figures, led by Joe Frederick with 15 and former Utah State star Kevin Nixon with 14.

Phoenix made 54 percent of its shots, compared to just 33 percent for the Kings.