Trail Blazers 103, Jazz 85
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) _ In the end, all the Utah Jazz were playing for was their dignity. And there wasn’t much left of that.
The Jazz certainly don’t have much hope left, not after their 103-85 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday night, which left Utah down 2-0 and wondering if it can win even one game in this best-of-seven series.
Game 3 is Thursday night in Salt Lake City.
Steve Smith scored 11 of his points 19 points in the third quarter, and five of his teammates scored in double figures as the Blazers jumped to an early lead and squelched any hope of Utah coming back from its 94-75 loss in Game 1.
Karl Malone was held to just 15 points, barely half of his playoff average this season. Yet, his total actually led the Jazz. Bryon Russell had 12 points.
Malone, showing no ill effects from a left knee injury Sunday, got little help from his teammates for the second straight game. The rest of Utah’s starters scored just 25 points, two less than Sunday.
A hook by Jermaine O’Neal, playing his first minutes of the playoffs, made it 93-63 with 7:37 to go. The lead reached as high as 33.