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3 keys to the Utah Jazz’s 116-111 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers

The Utah Jazz lost to the Portland Trail Blazers, 116-111, on Saturday night, falling to 14-12 on the season

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Portland Trail Blazers forward Trendon Watford (wearing white), Utah Jazz center Walker Kessler (wearing black).

Portland Trail Blazers forward Trendon Watford (2), Utah Jazz center Walker Kessler (24) and Portland Trail Blazers forward Justise Winslow (26) fight for the rebound during an NBA game at the Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

The Utah Jazz lost to the Portland Trail Blazers, 116-111, on Saturday night, falling to 14-12 on the season.

Here are three keys that contributed to the Jazz’s loss:

  • Anfernee Simons put up a career-high 45 points on the Jazz with 33 points coming in the first half alone. Speaking of 33, that’s how many points Jerami Grant finished with on Saturday night. With Damian Lillard, Josh Hart and a few others from the Blazers roster sidelined because of injury or illness, Simons and Grant stepped up to the plate and gave the Jazz a tough time all night.
  • The Jazz had quite a few chances in the final moments of the game to either take the lead or ice the game, but some miscues cost them important possessions. On one the ball popped into the backcourt out of Lauri Markkanen’s hands, on another Markkanen lost the ball out of bounds on a drive and on another right at the end, Jordan Clarkson had the ball stripped while going up for a shot and he inadvertently kicked the ball.
  • On the second night of a back-to-back, the Jazz trailed by as many as 15 points in the first half, making the rest of the game an uphill battle, and although they were able to get right back in it as far as the score goes, it seemed that they lacked the precision at the end to close things out.