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Blazers can’t reel in Jazz, fall 122-114

Henderson scores career-high 23 points plus 10 assists for Portland

By The Associated Press
Published: December 14, 2023, 9:43pm
5 Photos
Utah Jazz guard Collin Sexton shoots against the Portland Trail Blazers during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Thursday, Dec. 14, 2023.
Utah Jazz guard Collin Sexton shoots against the Portland Trail Blazers during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Thursday, Dec. 14, 2023. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer) Photo Gallery

PORTLAND — Collin Sexton scored 27 points, Simone Fonteccio had 24 and the Utah Jazz beat the struggling Portland Trail Blazers 122-114 on Thursday night.

Talen Horton-Tucker added 23 points for the short-handed Jazz (9-16), who led by 33 in the second half despite playing without All-Star forward Lauri Markkanen, John Collins, Jordan Clarkson and Keyonte George.

Fonteccio shot 7 of 8 from the field, including 5 for 5 from 3-point range.

“I thought everyone was very connected, especially defensively,” Utah coach Will Hardy said. “And then offensively, I thought the ball moved around great tonight. I think you see what happens to the collective energy when everyone feels like they’re involved.”

Rookie guard Scoot Henderson had a career-high 23 points and 10 assists to lead the Trail Blazers (6-17), who lost their fifth straight in the opener of a five-game homestand.

Rookie forward Toumani Camara also set a career best with 18 points, and Portland got 14 points and nine rebounds from Deandre Ayton, who missed the previous three games with a knee injury.

The Jazz shot 53.3% from the field to Portland’s 41.7%.

“Defensively, we were horrible,” Blazers coach Chauncey Billups said. “We’re trying to establish ourselves as a defense-first team, and I think it’s been a couple games when we get some of our offensive players back, and it looks sweet and cute when we make shots. But that’s not who we are. That’s not who we’re trying to be.”

Utah built a huge lead before both teams emptied their benches in the fourth quarter and Portland’s reserves trimmed the final margin to eight.

The Jazz won their second in a row, after defeating the New York Knicks at home on Wednesday.

UP NEXT

Blazers face the Dallas Mavericks at home on Saturday.

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JAZZ 122, BLAZERS 114

UTAH (122) — Fontecchio 7-8 5-5 24, Olynyk 1-6 0-0 2, Kessler 5-6 0-0 10, Horton-Tucker 9-19 5-6 23, Sexton 11-17 3-3 27, Hendricks 4-9 0-0 10, Potter 0-0 0-0 0, Yurtseven 2-7 0-0 4, Agbaji 7-12 0-0 16, Dunn 3-8 0-0 6. Totals 49-92 13-14 122.

PORTLAND (114) — Camara 7-10 1-2 18, Thybulle 1-5 0-0 3, Ayton 6-13 2-2 14, Sharpe 1-12 2-2 4, Simons 3-8 1-2 9, Murray 2-7 0-0 6, Walker 5-10 3-5 13, Brown 0-0 0-0 0, Reath 6-11 0-0 15, Brogdon 3-6 0-2 9, Henderson 9-21 3-3 23, Mays 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 43-103 12-18 114.

Utah 38 31 34 19—122

Portland 30 24 22 38—114

3-Point Goals—Utah 11-33 (Fontecchio 5-5, Hendricks 2-5, Sexton 2-5, Agbaji 2-6, Kessler 0-1, Dunn 0-2, Olynyk 0-3, Horton-Tucker 0-6), Portland 16-45 (Camara 3-4, Brogdon 3-6, Reath 3-6, Murray 2-5, Simons 2-6, Henderson 2-7, Thybulle 1-4, Walker 0-2, Sharpe 0-5). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—Utah 45 (Kessler, Olynyk 10), Portland 49 (Ayton, Walker 9). Assists—Utah 27 (Olynyk 7), Portland 30 (Henderson 10). Total Fouls—Utah 14, Portland 12. A—17,842 (19,393)

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