Facebook Twitter

Analysis: Utah Jazz destroy depleted Trail Blazers in a game it led by 51 at one point

SHARE Analysis: Utah Jazz destroy depleted Trail Blazers in a game it led by 51 at one point
Utah Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic lays the ball up

Utah Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic (44) takes the ball to the hoop over Portland Trail Blazers forward Elijah Hughes (19) as the Utah Jazz and the Portland Trail Blazers play an NBA basketball game at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, March 9, 2022.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

The Utah Jazz obliterated the depleted Portland Trail Blazers 123-85 at Vivint Arena on Wednesday night — a strong bounce-back performance after losing at Dallas on Monday.

High Notes

  • The Jazz were a huge favorite against the Blazers on Wednesday night, and to their credit they played like it and there wasn’t an inkling of a letdown at any point during the game. The betting line in Vegas had the Jazz as a 19.5-point favorite, the largest line in the NBA this season and in the past four years too. As expected, with a line that big it was a very ugly performance by the visitors and the Jazz should be credited with making it so. They held the Blazers to just 35 points in the first half, the fewest points the Jazz have given up in a first half this season. Its 28-point halftime lead was its largest of the season. What’s crazy, is it was a nationally-televised game on ESPN (can’t imagine the ratings were that good). Coach Quin Snyder was pleased with the effort it took for the lead to balloon so quickly.

“Some of the things we’ve talked about, no matter the score, no matter the opponent are the things that we need to do to play. Regardless of who the opponent is sometimes that’s more difficult because they’re doing something different. I liked how we moved the ball, thought we defended.” — Jazz head coach Quin Snyder.

  • It was plus-minus chaos on Wednesday. It’s by no means the most important stat in an NBA game to judge individual performance, but with the lopsided score there were some absolutely ridiculous plus-minus stats for both teams. For the Jazz, Bojan Bogdanovic, Donovan Mitchell and Royce O’Neale all finished with a plus-43. Mitchell’s previous career high was a plus-38 as he finished with 16 points and six assists. Mitchell started the game missing his first three 3-pointers, but finished 4 of 10 from behind the arc. On the flip side, Josh Hart nearly broke an NBA record with a minus-51. It was the fourth-worst in NBA history since records were kept on the stat, and the worst in the NBA in the past decade.

“Lot of guys did some things. Donovan getting people involved early, picking his spots. Again, you want to play the right way and every time you do that it’s another layer, you’ve just got to continue to build on that.” — Snyder

  • At the end of the third quarter, the Jazz led by a whopping 47 points — it’s the largest third-quarter lead in franchise history. Naturally, Utah’s five starters were able to rest the entire fourth quarter and none played more than 24 minutes. With a flight to San Antonio in preparation for a Friday game at the Spurs, the extra rest should be helpful as the Jazz seek to take advantage of a soft part of the schedule before the schedule gets really tough starting next week.

“I think the thing that sometimes happens when you get a big lead is that you change how you play and I didn’t think that happened. I felt like we continued to play the right way on both ends.” — Snyder

Low Notes

  • The outcome was so far gone that the Jazz could’ve gone scoreless in the fourth quarter and still won, but overall it was pretty disappointing defensive performance in the fourth from the reserves nonetheless as they were outscored 36-27. Snyder thought his third stringers eventually settled down and kept the lead from dipping below 30. As for Joe Ingles’ Blazers team, oh my. Portland has now lost six straight. It has 17 more chances to try and win another game this season — including a season-ending return trip to Vivint Arena on April 10 — but it’s crazy to think that this team could beat anybody as bad as it played.

Flat Notes

  • The Jazz did a brief video tribute to former Jazzman Joe Ingles during a first-quarter timeout thanking him for his time in Utah for eight season. It received only mild applause. It certainly would’ve received a bigger ovation if they’d shown him on the jumbotron, which appeared to be the plan as Ingles was in attendance. However, he must not have been on the bench at the time as the Jazz instead showed a random guy wearing a Jazz jersey.