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NBA 2018-19: 3 Talking points from the Utah Jazz's blowout win over the Portland Trailblazers

Achyut Dubey
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
23 Dec 2018, 01:51 IST

Utah Jazz are still 6.5 games behind the West leaders in Denver Nuggets.
Utah Jazz
are
still 6.5 games behind the West leaders in Denver Nuggets.

Utah had just defeated the Warriors 108-103 at home, after dropping two straight against the Magic & Rockets and were in line to face the Trailblazers in Portland.

Before the game started, the Portland Trailblazers were tied for the 5th spot in the Western Conference leaderboard while their opponents in the Utah Jazz sandwiched at the 10th position down below. However, the result left us all in a bit of a shock when the Jazz conjured a 30-point rout of the Trailblazers in what was their worst home loss since 2004.

Ricky Rubio led the charge and the visitors beat Portland 120-90 to take this one, as many across the league are still taking notice of Utah's tough early-season schedule. The Jazz have now won five of their last ten games while holding a 10-11 win-loss record on the road.

In the aftermath of the loss, Portland fell to the sixth spot in the air-tight Western Conference standings with an 18-14(0.563) record next to their name while Utah improves to 16-17(0.485) for a still ordinary 12th spot.

Let's draw out some key takeaways from this matchup that just might have set the Utah Jazz back on track, and takes them into a stretch where they'll play 12 of their next 17 games at home.


#1 Ricky Rubio came alive after a long period of time.

Ricky Rubio is averaging just 13 ppg this season.
Ricky Rubio is averaging just 13 ppg this season.

Rubio stepped up in one of the toughest road games for Utah and showed signs of resurgence. He finished with a game-high total of 28 points and dished out 8 assists as well in just the 27 minutes he was on the court.

He shot a decent 10-of-15 from the floor and converted all of his four 3-point attempts during the matchup.

This was only the second time in seven games that Rubio has scored above 20 points, which goes to show how inconsistent he has been for Utah so far this season.

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"We've been playing better for the last couple weeks or so and I think the results are coming," Rubio said. "We feel pretty confident where we are at."

Well, the Jazz do look good as of late, and if Rubio's form could find him on a nightly basis, this team could render the traffic jam in the West even worse.

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