SALT LAKE CITY -- Back-to-back one-sided home losses left Utah searching for answers heading into Wednesday's game against the Portland Trail Blazers -- the team's final game before the NBA All-Star break.
A three-game losing streak isn't as troubling itself as how those results are unfolding. In their latest loss, an 88-72 setback to the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night, the Jazz scored a season-low in points and shot a season-low 32.2 percent from the field.
It came on the heels of a 112-104 loss to Boston where the Celtics shot a season-high 59.2 percent from the field. Before that, Utah blew a 21-point second-half lead in a 112-105 overtime loss to Dallas.
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Utah coach Quin Snyder characterized the matchup with the Clippers as a good barometer game for his team before tipoff. What it revealed after four quarters is gathering storm clouds ahead. The Jazz have not been able to put together consistent performances on both ends of the court at the same time.
Their biggest struggles came in the second and third quarters. Utah (34-22) totaled 12 field goals and 30 points over that two quarter stretch. George Hill was the only Jazz player who scored more than four points in either quarter.
"They had a lot more resolve on their defensive end than we did on our offensive end," Snyder said. "Sometimes, if we were to make a couple of shots, it would have just masked the fact that we didn't have any toughness on the offensive end in order to execute."
Like Utah, Portland is a team looking to solve some problems before the all-star break. The Trail Blazers fell 109-104 in overtime to Atlanta on Monday night. It marked the fifth loss in seven games for Portland.
The Blazers (23-32) seemed positioned to pick up a win after opening the overtime period on a 7-0 run. Atlanta's defense clamped down the rest of the way and Portland did not score again. The Blazers shot only 35.9 percent from the field -- despite making 16 3-pointers -- and dropped a game to the Hawks for the fifth straight time.
"It hurts," reserve forward Ed Davis said. "We thought we had this game, but that's the NBA. Good teams find a way to win, and teams that are struggling find a way to lose."
Portland and Utah meet for the second time this season. The Blazers won the initial meeting 113-104 in the season opener for both teams Oct. 25. Damian Lillard took over the game down the stretch, scoring 39 points on 13-of-20 shooting, while C.J. McCollum added 25 points on 8-of-16 shooting.
Lillard scored at least 20 points in each of his last six games against the Jazz and averages 29.3 points in those contests. McCollum is averaging 26 points over his last six games against Utah.
Utah lost three straight games against Portland and 10 of 13 in the series overall dating back to the 2013-14 season. The Jazz will likely need big games from Gordon Hayward to break the streak.
Hayward scored at least 30 points in four of his last six games and is averaging 25.9 points through seven February games.