Key Jazz Players Shine In Season-Opening Win Over Trail Blazers

Dec 23, 2020, 10:20 PM | Updated: 10:40 pm
Rudy Gobert - Donovan Mitchell - Utah Jazz...
Rudy Gobert #27 and Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz high five in front of Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers after a foul during the second quarter at Moda Center on December 23, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah’s key players shined bright in a season-opening victory of the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Blazers hosted the Jazz at the Moda Center on Wednesday, December 23.

Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, and company took control of things in the first half and rode a big margin throughout the contest to a 120-100 win.

The Blazers jumped out to a 13-6 to start in the first quarter but the Jazz responded with a run of their own to end the first 12 minutes of action.

Utah ended the quarter on a 21-8 run to take a 32-25 lead into the second quarter.

Three-pointers, defensive stops, and Gobert dunks sealed the win before halftime.

Key players playing in sync

Although Mike Conley and Jordan Clarkson played for the Jazz a season ago and weren’t offseason additions, more time in Quin Snyder’s system showed early on against the Blazers.

Bojan Bogdanovic appeared healthy and ready to roll after wrist surgery ended his year before the playoffs this summer.

Utah’s re-addition of Derrick Favors helped the second unit’s defense that struggled at times a season ago.

Jordan Clarkson looked the part of an NBA Sixth Man of the Year award candidate.

All-Stars Mitchell and Gobert were Mitchell and Gobert.

Nice Numbers

The dynamic duo led the Jazz with 20 points apiece.

Gobert dominated the Blazers on the glass with 17 boards, including four offensive rebounds.

Conley scored 18 points and Bogdanovic added 15 points.

Bogdanovic had a team-high plus-22 rating in his first game since March.

Utah’s bench unit looked strong with 47 points, led by Clarkson, Ingles, and Favors.

The Jazz shot 45.7 percent for the game, including 38.0 percent on 50 three-point attempts.

Portland’s Damian Lillard was limited to only nine points on 4-12 shooting.

The Blazers were led by CJ McCollum’s 23 points.

With the win, the Jazz started the season 1-0 for the fourth straight season.

Utah’s next game is against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday, December 26 at 7 p.m. (MDT).

The game will broadcast on AT&T SportsNet, NBA League Pass, and 97.5 FM.

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