The quest to clinch the No. 1 seed continues.
The Utah Jazz’s magic number remains at two games after falling to the Portland Trail Blazers 105-98 in the team’s home finale Wednesday night.
Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson scored 29 points off the bench. But on an off night for the Jazz, the team shot just 30 percent from behind the arc and turned the ball over 12 times leading to 16 Portland points.
“I thought we got good looks. They just didn’t go in. We’ve got to keep grinding,” Jazz head coach Quin Snyder. “We just have to keep at it and keep helping each other and keep playing for each other.”
Utah was missing its All-Star backcourt of Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley yet again. Portland guards Damian Lillard (30) and CJ McCollum (26) combined to go 22-for-42 from the floor in victory.
“You gotta give them credit. They made everything harder for us and they played very physical,” said Rudy Gobert, who had 15 points and 20 rebounds. “It was just harder for us to do what we wanted to do. Despite all that, we got a lot of open shots. On another day, we probably make those shots and it’s a different game.”
The Jazz (50-20) are now 1.5 games up on the second-place Phoenix Suns with two games left on Utah’s schedule and three games remaining on Phoenix’s.
Utah closes out its regular season with games Friday in Oklahoma City and Sunday in Sacramento. The Suns host the Blazers on Thursday night and then finish up the season with games Saturday and Sunday in San Antonio.
The Jazz finished the regular season with a 31-5 record at Vivint Arena, including a franchise-best 24-game home winning streak.
JC: 29p | 4r | 3 3pm | 3a
Rudy: 20r | 15p | 2a | 1s | 1b
Joe: 14p | 4a | 4r | 3 3pm
Bojan: 12p | 4r
Georges: 11p | 3 3pm | 2r | 1s
Royce: 8r | 3r | 2p
Trent: 5p | 4r | 1a | 1s
Jarrell: 5p | 1a
Fav: 4r | 3b | 2p
Miye: 3p | 1r#podiumpostgame | @podiumhq pic.twitter.com/CKHQOPdF23
— utahjazz (@utahjazz) May 13, 2021
The Jazz travel to Oklahoma City for a Friday showdown with the Thunder. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.