Portland, Ore. • Paul Millsap went through his usual list of things that he felt cost the Jazz. The first one, though, caught the ears of nearby Al Jefferson.
"We did miss some layups," Jefferson said to no one in particular. "Gosh."
In the minds of the Jazz, their 105-99 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers had more to do with failing to do the little things than it did with missing their little guys.
The Jazz’s backcourt has been halved by injuries in recent weeks, and in their second game in two nights against the Trail Blazers, the Jazz were without Mo Williams, Gordon Hayward and Earl Watson.
Tyrone Corbin called the Jazz "outmanned," but his team still managed to build a 10-point lead when Randy Foye made his fifth of a season-high-tying six 3-pointers with 6:05 remaining in the third quarter.
But that teardrop 3-pointer may as well have flicked an off switch on its descent into the basket.
"They just outplayed us in the third quarter basically," Jamaal Tinsley said.
After Foye’s 3 put the Jazz up 63-53, the Blazers scored the next 14 points and closed the quarter on a 19-4 run.
The Blazers shot 64 percent in the fourth quarter and finished at a 50 percent clip for the game. And while the Jazz were outscored only 46-44 in the paint, they made just 43 percent of their attempts in the lane — the area the post-centric Jazz are expected to dominate.
The Jazz (26-22) missed four shots within 8 feet of the basket in the final 6:05 in the quarter — not an altogether bad stat until you consider that Foye, emboldened by his hot stretch, began bombing step-back and isolation 3-pointers, as well.
Foye led the Jazz with 23 points, but went ice cold during that stretch, missing three of his final four 3-point attempts in the quarter. It wasn’t until he made a 25-footer with 41 seconds left that he broke his skid.
That pulled the Jazz within 99-96, but by then, the damage was done, and the Blazers (24-23) made seven straight free throws to close the game.Next Page »