PORTLAND, Ore. -- Someday Karl Malone and John Stockton will remember a time when they were young men, and when they could beat the Portland Trail Blazers on their home court.
Those days are fading further into the distance, and each loss here threatens to push the Utah Jazz greats closer to retirement.
''Our guys didn't come to play,'' Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said after Sunday's 94-75 Game 1 loss to the Blazers, Utah's 12th straight playoff defeat in Portland. ''I'll tell you right now, we didn't come to play, and this series will be over real quick if they're going to accept that.''
Scottie Pippen scored nine of his 20 points over the final nine minutes as the Blazers held Utah to just one basket in the first 5:46.
''That's what we consider the backbone of our team: playing defense and shutting teams' offense down,'' Pippen said. ''It took us three quarters before we could really get a good feel for this team, but in the fourth quarter, our defense took over.''
Greg Anthony added 12 points in the final period, and Damon Stoudamire finished with 14 points. Arvydas Sabonis had 14 rebounds and Brian Grant added 10.
Utah's last playoff win here was on April 30, 1988, in Game 2 of the first round.
While Portland had four days off after its first-round series, the Jazz were playing on less than two days rest after struggling past Seattle in Game 5 on Friday night, and their fatigue showed.
Utah missed nine of its first 10 shots in the fourth quarter and shot 33 percent for the period, slightly worse than the 37 percent it shot for the game. But Sloan wouldn't have any excuses.
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