Blazers’ Damian Lillard delivers cold-blooded performance in Utah where he first experienced snow

SALT LAKE CITY — Ahead of the Portland Trail Blazers’ Martin Luther King Jr. Day game against the Utah Jazz on Monday, a snowstorm hit the area.

The roads were so bad early in the day that the Jazz decided to cancel shootaround, but that didn’t stop Lillard from delivering a cold-blooded 26-point, eight-rebound, eight-assist performance that night.

Lillard’s sixth consecutive 20-plus point game contributed to Portland’s 109-104 win versus the Jazz as he posted eight fourth-quarter points to help seal the victory.

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Although it was an away game for the Blazers, members of the Weber State University Alumni Association, dubbed “Wild About Damian,” made the trip from Ogden cheap nba jerseys china
to Salt Lake to cheer on the former Wildcat, whose No. 1 is retired on campus.

Weber State president Brad L. Mortensen was also among the sellout crowd in attendance.

Little did most people know, less than 40 miles away from Vivint Arena is where Lillard first saw snow as a freshman at Weber State. The 28-year-old, three-time NBA All-Star relived the initial experience during shootaround ahead of the Jazz game, saying it also involved losing a cell phone.

“My freshman year, I went home for Christmas and came back the day after Christmas and then that was the first time I had ever been in snow because it started snowing when I got back,” Lillard recounted.

The Roundup—Jazz erase 21-point deficit to beat Magic

Finally home after a four-game road trip, the Jazz struggled to settle in on both ends of the floor—but once they did, Orlando didn’t have a chance.

And a lot of that had to do with Donovan Mitchell.

Mitchell scored a game-high 33 points as the Jazz erased a 21-point first-quarter deficit and ran away for a 106-93 win over the Magic Wednesday night in Salt Lake City.

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“What this group did, given the fact that we were down and how we started, this is a heck of a win for this team,” Jazz head coach Quin Snyder said after the game.

Joe Ingles added 16 points and seven assists, while Rudy Gobert logged his 33rd double-double of the season with 12 points and 14 rebounds.

Raul Neto got his first start of the season thanks to injuries to Ricky Rubio (hamstring) and Danté Exum (ankle), and the 26-year-old point guard finished with 10 points—including cheap nba jerseys from china
back-to-back buckets that gave the Jazz (21-21) the lead late in the third quarter—along with three rebounds, three assists and a steal in 31 minutes.

Kyle Korver added 11 points and a season-high seven rebounds off the bench in the win.

D.J. Augustin (23 points) and Nikola Vucevic (20 points) led the Magic (17-24) in scoring, though Vucevic shot only 2-for-7 from the field in the second half after scoring 14 points in the first two periods.

Aaron Gordon double-doubled with 18 points and 10 rebounds in the loss.

When the Jazz fell (way) behind, Mitchell took control of the game. He calmly drilled a three to help get the offense going, consistently drove into the lane and kicked it out to his teammates for open shots, and then, when the game was on the line, he made play after play down the stretch to seal the comeback victory. Unlike Monday, when he missed all five of his fourth-quarter shots in Milwaukee, Mitchell shot 5-for-8 from the field and 4-for-4 from the line in the final period against the Magic. He made two 3-pointers and one midrange jumper, and then he sprinted to the rim for two game-changing layups that pushed Utah’s lead to nine with just over three minutes left. In all, Mitchell scored an efficient 33 points (on 12-for-21 shooting) and added four rebounds, seven assists and a steal in 37 minutes.

Utah Jazz’s Thabo Sefolosha, Raul Neto to be reevaluated in one week

The Utah Jazz have just announced that Raul Neto and Thabo Sefolosha will be reevaluated in one week’s time. Raul Neto has been battling a left groin strain while Thabo Sefolosha is trying to cheap nba jerseys
come back from a right hamstring strain. Utah is still without Dante Exum who will be reevaluated next week per the Utah Jazz’s last injury update.

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The Utah Jazz just recently were able to add Ricky Rubio back to the rotation last night as they played the Portland Trail Blazers. Before Neto, Sefolosha, and Exum are reevaluated the Utah Jazz will play the Denver Nuggets once and then the Minnesota Timberwolves twice. Utah needs all the depth they can get as Donovan Mitchell has had to pull big minutes without any point guard depth.

Monson: NBA referees should lay off Rudy Gobert and call the games straight up

Never been one to complain about officiating in any sport. I never took any pleasure in it, never saw much use for it, especially as it pertains to NBA basketball. The refs typically do the best they can, within the framework of human limitations.

But let’s say it the way it is here: Rudy Gobert is getting jobbed by NBA referees.

Anyone who pays close attention to what has happened to him on the court since he openly complained recently after a game about officiating can see it.

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The most egregious examples came in subsequent games against Houston and Oklahoma City. In the first case, Gobert was called for a foul on the opening jump ball, a call that is cheap nba jerseys china
almost never made. The second came in the Jazz-Thunder game, when Steven Adams all but ripped Gobert’s arm loose from his shoulder socket, hooking that arm, locking it in, then pulling Gobert to the floor. The whistle came, the call was made against … well, You-Know-Who.

A technical foul followed because technicals usually follow a lousy call put upon a player by an embarrassed referee.

Gobert complained in the postgame again, this time saying, after talking with the league office and individual refs with no satisfactory response, and ongoing whistles being blown against him, he might be forced to take justice into his own hands, elbows, hips, forearms and fists.

Nobody wants that. The Jazz center himself said he just wants to do his job, just play basketball.

Gobert’s been known to complain to the refs often on the floor, although he typically has kept his frustrations from spilling over in loud fashion into postgame interviews. It’s happened, but only in controlled manner.

NBA Officials are going after Rudy Gobert and Adam Silver needs to do something

It’s becoming clear that the NBA officials have a personal vendetta against Rudy Gobert. After Gobert’s now infamous ejection against the Rockets the officials successfully got Rudy Gobert out of a game again with quick fouls. This time it was against the Oklahoma City Thunder where two quick calls cheap nba jerseys from china
had Rudy sitting with six minutes left in the quarter.

The first foul was reasonable. It’s the second foul that’s dubious.

Here’s the second foul.
Any unbiased observer would call that a textbook box out.

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It’s clear what’s going on. Seeing Gobert with his first foul, they’re giving him whistles for nothing to continue to send messages. Is this out of anger that they were actually questioned? Probably.

Think that was the worst call of the night? It was not.

Watch as Steven Adams pulls Rudy Gobert to the ground (reminiscent of when Kelly Olynyk separated Kevin Love’s shoulder) and the referees call the foul on Rudy Gobert.
The official watches it happen and does nothing. It’s an absolute joke and an embarrassment to the league.

What is Adam Silver doing about it? The answer would be nothing.

If he doesn’t do something soon, something is going to happen and Rudy Gobert is ready to take matters into his own hands.

Utah Jazz to debut green Earned Edition jerseys for Chrismas Day showdown versus Portland

SALT LAKE CITY — An early Christmas present has arrived for Utah Jazz fans.

Although photos of the Jazz’s Earned Edition green uniforms previously leaked last week via social media, the team has now revealed official images of the jerseys.

Utah will debut the uniforms on court for the first time during their Christmas Day showdown against the Portland Trail Blazers on Dec. 25 at Vivint Arena.

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“It’s an honor to play on Christmas Day and we’re excited Cheap Utah Jazz Jerseys for the opportunity to wear the Nike NBA Earned Edition uniforms for the first time,” said Bart Sharp, senior vice president of marketing for the Utah Jazz. “The uniforms feature our traditional green shading with white and gold accents in a modern design and style. We hope the fans enjoy them as well as our entire collection of six jerseys this season.”
The Jazz are scheduled to wear them for 11 regular season games this season, including six times at home and five on the road — plus twice on national television.

It is one of six jerseys options joining the white Association, blue Icon, gold Statement, gradient City, Classic purple and now Earned green lineup.

Fans can purchase the Earned edition jerseys at the Utah Jazz Team Store on Dec. 19 as the Jazz are playing on Christmas for the first time since 1997.

The Earned edition uniform features gold, green and white while following the design of the gold Statement edition jerseys and are reserved for teams that reached the playoffs last season.

20 years ago: Karl Malone says he wants to be traded from the Utah Jazz

Editor’s note: Every Sunday, the Deseret News sports staff takes a look back into our archives_._

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Karl Malone said he will always live — and perhaps even die — in Utah. He just didn’t want to play basketball here anymore.

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Malone told the listening audience of his Los Angeles-based Wholesale nba jerseys
radio show that he wants a clean break from the only NBA team he’s ever played for, the Utah Jazz.

“I am tired of the posturing and jabbering back and forth, and I will go out on a limb and say, when the lockout is over with, I will make a demand to be traded,” Malone said. “I will say it right now, I have played my last game in Salt Lake City, and it’s time for Karl to move on.”

Read the story here.

Utah Jazz itching for revenge against Memphis Grizzlies after losing twice to them at home

SALT LAKE CITY — More than 30 kids huddled around Utah Jazz players Ricky Rubio, Naz Mitrou-Long and Georges Niang after an hour and a half of drills in the Rowland Hall gymnasium on Saturday evening.

Once the Q&A session began, one of the Ricky Rubio Academy participants asked Rubio, “what’s your biggest rivals right now?”

“Right now … wow,” Rubio thought, before catching eye contact with Niang. “Memphis. I think everybody in the West … but any team is good.”

Why Memphis? Two of Utah’s early home losses this season have come against the Grizzlies.

After last season’s abysmal 22-60 finish, Memphis has emerged as a force in the Western Conference with a 7-4 start.

Part of the success is the return of point guard Mike Conley, who missed most of last season with a left heel injury. Memphis also drafted rookie forward Jaren Jackson Jr. out of Michigan State University, while center Marc Gasol is putting up 14.7 points, 9.2 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game.

Utah will begin the first of a five-game road trip at Memphis on Monday, Nov. 12, at 6 p.m. MST riding a two-game winning streak, but the Jazz are 0-2 against the Grit and Grind.

Jazz players are certainly aware, too.
“It doesn’t take anyone to see that the Memphis one is circled on our calendars,” Jazz guard Dante Exum told the Deseret News. “I think we owe them not one but two, but we’re going to game plan and make sure we’re ready.”

Utah (6-6) suffered its first loss to Memphis 92-84 on Oct. 22 behind 23 points from Conley. Gasol also posted 18 points and 13 points in the Grizzlies’ first road win of the season, Cheap Utah Jazz Jerseys despite shooting 36.9 percent from the field. Utah didn’t shoot much better at 35.4 percent in an ugly contest.

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Then on Nov. 2, the teams met again at Vivint Arena. This time, Utah was playing without star guard Donovan Mitchell, who sat with a right hamstring strain.

Conley again went off for 28 points, five rebounds and five assists on 7-for-18 shooting as the Grizzlies won 110-100 on 50.7 percent shooting. Former Jazzman Shelvin Mack also burned them for 16 of his 19 points in the second half. The win marked the fourth time in franchise history that the Grizzlies won multiple road games over the Jazz in the same regular season.

“They’re a very disciplined team,” Gasol said after the Nov. 2 win at Utah. “You have to make them uncomfortable. You have to figure out ways to get to their shooters, their playmakers.”

Utah is shooting just 40.9 percent from the field and 66.7 percent at the free-throw line against Memphis in both home losses. Although this road trip also includes stops in Dallas, Philadelphia, Boston and Indiana, the trip to FedEx Forum is personal.

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“They beat us twice in our home, which shouldn’t happen, so we’ve got to return the favor,” Exum said.

Rubio and Gasol hold a tight friendship, as longtime members of the Spanish National Team, but that will be out of the window once the ball is tipped.

“Marc (Gasol) is a great screener and he can pop too,” Rubio said. “A big can’t help much because he is tough to guard. That is why he has been in the league so long and putting up big numbers, just because he can really shoot the ball and can set good screens and get guys open.”

Jazz open a grueling five-game road trip on Monday in Memphis. The team is viewing it as ‘an opportunity.’

Following a three-game homestand last week, the Jazz’s number of games played at Vivint Smart Home Arena and on the road drew even at six apiece.

But the schedule is about to get unbalanced again. Beginning Monday, Utah will start a five-games-in-eight-days road trip that will take the team to Memphis, Dallas, Philadelphia, Boston and Indiana.

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It’ll be the second extended trip of the young season for the Jazz (6-6), Wholesale jerseys
who have already completed a stretch of four games in eight days (which they finished 3-1).
Indeed, the team plays a slate heavily weighted toward traveling early on, with half of its 41 regular-season road games to be completed by mid-December.

Utah snapped a four-game losing streak and an 0-4 start at Vivint Arena with consecutive wins, against the Mavericks and Celtics, respectively, last week. So this trip will be but the latest test of the Jazz’s defensive resolve and their offensive efficiency.

While coach Quin Snyder said he couldn’t afford to worry about how road-heavy the early-season schedule is, he did acknowledge there are potential benefits to it.