SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – The Jazz offense is clicking as they head into the regular season. But the defense is not.
Utah gave up 126 points to Portland in a 126-118 loss to the Trail Blazers in their final preseason game, the Jazz fourth straight preseason loss.
Donovan Mitchell scores 22 of his 28 points in the first half, while Mike Conley had his best game of the preseason, scoring 20 points.
Rudy Gobert added 15 points and 13 rebounds, as the Jazz made 14 of 30 three-pointers.
But Portland made 58 percent of its shots from the field, led by C.J. McCollum with 28 points and former Weber State star Damian Lillard with 25.
“We just haven’t had consistency,” head coach Quin Snyder said about his team’s defensive effort. “I think we came out and we weren’t imposing our will and being the aggressor.
“I know it sounds simple, but it’s just a matter of finding a way to do it,” Mitchell said. “Fortunately it is preseason and we have time to work on it, but we’ve just got to go out there and do it. We’ve been a defensive team since I’ve been here, and we’ve just got to continue building that.”
Bojan Bogdanovic continued his preseason struggles, going 0 for 9 from the field.
“I’ve got to make more of an impact no matter how many shots I make,” Bogdanovic said. “I’ve got to help on the boards and be more productive.”
The Blazers built a 14-point lead in the first quarter before the Jazz stormed back to take a 50-44 lead on a 3-pointer from Joe Ingles.
But Portland surged ahead before the half, taking a 67-65 lead at the break. The Blazers led by as many as 20 points in the second half.
The Jazz gave up an average of 129 points in their four preseason games against NBA teams.
The Jazz open the regular season Wednesday, October 23rd at home against the Oklahoma City Thunder.