PORTLAND — Juancho Hernangomez had a season-high 22 points and the Utah Jazz clinched the fifth seed in the Western Conference with an 111-80 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers in the regular-season finale on Sunday night.
The Jazz will face the fourth-seeded Dallas Mavericks in the opening round of the playoffs.
Rudy Gobert added 18 points and 13 rebounds for the Jazz, while top scorer Donovan Mitchell sat out of the game with a non-COVID-19 illness. Utah also was without Bojan Bogdanovic, who was resting a left calf injury.
The Blazers ended a turbulent season with an 11-game losing streak. Reggie Perry, who signed a 10-day deal with the Blazers on March 30 that was extended through Sunday, had a career-high 20 points.
The Blazers played without Drew Eubanks, one of the bright spots for the team in the midst of a spate of injuries, because of a wrist injury. Damian Lillard, who has been out since January with an abdominal issue that required surgery, watched Portland’s final game from the bench along with fellow injured teammates Jusuf Nurkic and Anfernee Simons.
Utah had lost seven of their previous 10 games, and were coming off a 111-105 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Friday.
The Blazers were ahead 19-16 after the opening quarter, but the lead was short-lived.
The Jazz went up 28-23 on Gobert’s dunk, led 52-40 at the half and stretched the margin to as many as 22 points in the third quarter.
Jazz: Utah won all four of the games against the Blazers this season. … Mike Conley finished with 14 points.
Trail Blazers: Lillard addressed the crowd before the game: “This year a lot of things came up that we didn’t expect. A lot of hard times. But you guys continue to show up. Continue to show us love. Continue to be the fans that I’ve always known. And I just need y’all to know one thing: This will not continue. Next year we’re gonna come back better than we’ve been. “
Article Source: The Columbian