SALT LAKE CITY – One piece made an exciting comeback for Utah Jazz.
Still, it was a piece that shouldn't have counted in the end.
Utah's Donovan Mitchell got the go-ahead with a 19.5-second lead. Portland's Damian Lillard tried to respond with a layup at the other end, but Rudy Gobert blocked the shot 11.2 seconds ahead.
The Jazz prevailed against Trail Blazers 117-114 on Friday night.
The only problem? Gobert scored a goal by blocking the shot from the glass. But the referee crew made no call at stake.
"We're coming to the last game in the game and they're missing a simple call," said Lillard. "Then they tell us it's a simple no-call, so obviously it's not a goalkeeper. It cost us the (explosive) game, man."
The NBA referee, Josh Tiven, confirmed to a pool reporter after the game that the video check revealed that an initial goalkeeper breach should have been mentioned, but it was not a reworkable game as the team did not hit the ground named.
That was no consolation for the trail blazers. Instead of tying up the game and possibly forcing overtime, Portland suffered an expensive defeat to get back into the playoffs.
“It cost us the game. We can't get it back, ”said C. J. McCollum. "If we make mistakes, we will be punished. And they cost us a game that could cost people money. They should be punished accordingly, because that's terrible. Not just bad, terrible."
Gobert said he tried to play on the ball and felt as if the zero was overshadowing a memorable comeback in Utah after a 14-point halftime deficit.
"Obviously it's a big piece because it's the last piece and it's what everyone will remember," said Gobert. “But I think we did a great job in the second half. Mistakes are made. Officials are people. I feel like it's all part of the game. "
Bojan Bogdanovic had 27 points ahead of Utah. Mike Conley added 18 points for jazz. Mitchell and Gobert (14 rebounds) dropped 16 points each.
Lillard ended with 42 points for Portland. McCollum scored 27 points, Gary Trent 16 and Mario Hezonja 11 for the blazers, which only seven healthy players had for most of the last three quarters.
With a gap of 13 points at the start of the third round, the Jazz Portland wiped out with a run of 20 to 6. Ingles interrupted the run with a 3-pointer and brought Utah to 86-85.
Jazz extended its lead through Bogdanovic to 106-99 before the blazers recovered. Lillard knotted on two baskets against 114 at the last minute.
"Our boys came out and did everything we had to do on the defensive," said Utah coach Quin Snyder.
The blazers shot 75 percent in the first quarter (15 out of 20). Lillard served as a catalyst for the bladder start.
Stopping the Lillard proved to be a chore for jazz from the opening. Lillard started 7 out of 7 from the ground and only missed his first shot in the middle of the second quarter. He scored 16 points in the first quarter alone.
Lillard's first four baskets came from the area, giving Portland a 21-12 lead.
Utah used a 17: 4 run to advance at the beginning of the second quarter. Conley hit the first quarter buzzer with a 3-pointer to fire the barrel, and Ingles covered it with another outer basket to give Jazz a 44-41 lead.
On the offensive, Portland got back on its feet and built up a lead of 72:58 in a 14-2 run. Lillard and Gary Trent jr. Achieved successive theft layups to fuel the thrust.
"I was really proud of our boys," said Portland coach Terry Stotts. "Obviously we're understaffed, it was an outstanding performance by all players and it's just a shame that we chose an inexcusable missed call."