Utah Jazz: Team falls short against the Spurs in summer league
Las Vegas • The San Antonio Spurs of the regular season are so consistent. They grind you down, they keep coming at you, and before you know it, you're 10 points behind and on your way to a loss.
On Thursday afternoon, that description applied to the Spurs of summer league as well.
The Utah Jazz suffered an 86-77 loss at the hands of San Antonio in the second round of the playoff format at the Thomas & Mack Center. The Jazz played well in spurts, but the Spurs were better down the stretch when it mattered.
"I thought we had a few lapses defensively," Utah point guard Trey Burke said. "There were some times when we didn't play as well as we could. We missed some shots and made a few mistakes."
The Jazz will face the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night in the consolation round, where they will attempt to exit the Las Vegas Summer League with a winning 3-2 record.
Either way, it was another productive night for rookie forward Rodney Hood. The 6-foot-8 small forward out of Duke scored a team-high 19 points. But unlike most of the week when he filled it up from long range, Hood did a lot of his damage off the dribble, at the basket and from 15 feet.
It was yet another wrinkle in Hood's game that he's shown off this week. In many ways, he's been Utah's most productive player over the course of the summer league.
"I've been trying to show that I'm a complete player," Hood said. "I want to be well-rounded, and to keep getting better and showing new things."
Rudy Gobert returned from the sore shoulder that caused him to miss Tuesday's game against the Denver Nuggets. He scored 12 points and grabbed six rebounds to go along with a blocked shot. Gobert has averaged 12 points and nine rebounds during the summer league, and has shown marked improvement over an uneven rookie season.
Jazz rookie Dante Exum had his worst game as a pro, scoring four points and going 1 of 8 from the field. He also turned the ball over four times and seemed noticeably frustrated at points.
"He's tired," Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. "He's young, and he's a rookie and we know that there will be times that he struggles. He's just got to have some learning experiences."