-----Gordon Hayward scored 30 points and Rudy Gobert added 20 points and 11 rebounds as the Utah Jazz hammered the Blazers 106-87 on Tuesday night.
It was a bad night for the Blazers at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Their loss to Jazz in combination with the Nuggets 134-131 win at New Orleans reduced Portland's lead over Denver to a half-game for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
The Blazers once again felt the loss of Jusuf Nurkic who is sidelined for the rest of the regular season with a fracture in his right leg. Last night Karl-Anthony Towns scored 34 points and 12 rebounds and tonight Rudy Gobert dominated the paint with 20 points, 11 rebounds, and three blocks, Utah controlled the glass with a 47-28 rebounding edge.
Portland (38-40) got 25 points from CJ McCollum, but no one else on the floor could make shots. Damian Lillard had 16 points on just 5-for-20 shooting. The Blazers shot just 39.8% from the field including 6-for-26 from three point range.
The Blazers will now return home to meet the Timberwolves at the Moda Center on Thursday night. Portland will play their final four games at home. The Nuggets play in Houston against the Rockets tomorrow night. Three of Denver's final five games will be on the road.
Chad's Take- This game was a disaster. The Blazers couldn't hit shots, they couldn't defend, and Rudy Gobert and Gordon Hayward dominated action. Without Jusuf Nurkic, the Blazers don't have the balance on offense or the presence on defense to contend with the top teams in the Western Conference. To make matters worse, the Denver Nuggets won tonight in New Orleans. Portland's lead is now just a half-game for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West. Would it help if I donated my right leg bone to Nurkic?