Las Vegas • The 75-73 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night was good for the Utah Jazz.
Finishing the Las Vegas Summer League with a 3-2 record was even better.
But this week was about development for the rookies and the young veterans. And on this night, that development was apparent.
Rudy Gobert was dominant in the paint against the Blazers, grabbing 15 rebounds, scoring 11 points and blocking three shots. Dante Exum had nine points, five rebounds and three assists to go along with three steals. Former Weber State guard Nick Covington came off the bench to score a summer league-high 12 points.
Without Trey Burke, the Jazz made the right plays down the stretch to pull out the victory. They made stops on the defensive end, when needed, and overcame their fourth game in five nights to end things on a positive note.
“I thought we played well when we had to,” Jazz assistant Brad Jones said. “I thought this summer league has been good for a lot of guys. We’re really encouraged by what Rudy showed us this summer, and Dante got a taste of how consistent you have to be in NBA basketball.”
Exum started his first game at point guard, and played a good floor game. He did commit four turnovers, but he played very well in the second half and showed a lot of the promise he displayed in an opening loss to Philadelphia.
The Jazz are not done making additions to their roster, a league source told The Tribune. Utah is in the market for a third point guard, and could also be looking for a shooter as well.
Utah plans on making Exum its backup at the point, figuring it best to get him some experience right away. The Jazz seemed to force-feed playing time to Exum on Friday, especially without Burke in the lineup. He responded by making some big plays, most notably a lay-in as the time expired in the third quarter.