Jazz go young, still fall short

Save Story
Leer en español

Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

SALT LAKE CITY — Throughout last season, Utah Jazz fans clamored for the opportunity to see the team’s young stars perform together.

Friday, Jazz coach Ty Corbin delivered their wishes. With injuries forcing Corbin to change the lineup, he started the group of Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter, Alec Burks and Trey Burke for the first time this season, giving Utah fans a chance to potentially see the future of the franchise in action.

Unfortunately for the Jazz, the changes to the lineup did very little to change results on the court, with the visiting Portland Trail Blazers leaving EnergySolutions Arena victorious, courtesy of a 111-99 victory over the Jazz.

Corbin said he inserted Burks into the lineup for several reasons.


“Marvin (Williams) is out, so we wanted to try and look at a couple different things,” he said. “I thought Alec did a good job of everything and picked the pace up some for us. … I though the guys came out focused and executed the game plan for the most part.”

The Jazz led 31-23 at the end of the first quarter and were tied with Portland 76-76 going into the fourth quarter. However, the Trail Blazers outscored Utah 35-23 in the final period, bolstered by Damian Lillard’s 14 points.

Jazz forward Gordon Hayward said defensive breakdowns are what cost the team a chance at victory.

“We contained Lillard in the first half, but then we turned around and let him get going in the second (half),” he said. “We’ve got to be able to play for the whole 48 minutes. (It’s) an execution issue.”

Jazz rookie guard Trey Burke spent most of the night matched up against Lillard, and said he can learn a great deal from the former Weber State star.

“With Damian, he stayed poised (after) the first half he had,” he said. “He came back out for the second half, and he stayed aggressive. And that’s something I can take from that.”

Portland is already locked into a playoff spot and will be in the playoffs for the first time since 2011. When looking at the turnaround the Blazers have done, Corbin said his young Jazz team could learn much from their example.

“They are an example of a group that has been together a few years now, and they’ve been through some ups and some downs. Last year, they didn’t finish the best, but they’ve had a better feel for where they are, and I think they’ve learned some great lessons.”

Hayward said the most valuable lesson the young starting unit learned Friday will come in the form of shared repetitions.

“It provides experience, so you can’t teach that,” he said. “Playing together — you get that experience; you get that chemistry. And you can’t teach that.”

Even though the Jazz fell in the loss, forward Derrick Favors said he was happy that Burks found his way into the starting lineup.

“I’m happy for him,” said Favors, who scored a game-high 21 points. “He’s a player who works hard all the time.”

Another less used Jazz player, Rudy Gobert, earned over 10 minutes of playing time and scored seven points and six rebounds.

Gobert said he savored the chance to play Friday.

“It feels good,” he said. “I’ve been waiting for this moment. It feels good to play. … I was just trying to make it tough for the other team, protect the basket and block shots.”

As for whether fans will see Friday’s starting lineup again over the final three games of the season, Corbin said he hasn’t decided yet.

“We’ll see,” he said. “We’ll see.”

Most recent Sports stories

Related topics

SportsUtah Jazz
Jon Oglesby


    From first downs to buzzer beaters, get KSL.com’s top sports stories delivered to your inbox weekly.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast