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Trey Burke sat almost motionless at his visiting locker in Portland, Oregon. He jostled with his phone, all the while entertaining a thick bag of ice on each knee, his feet soaking in chilled water.

The Utah Jazz point guard looked much more like a grizzled veteran than a second-year NBA player who won't turn 22 years old until next month. While sitting quietly after leading the Jazz to a comeback win over the Trail Blazers last Thursday, he stated the obvious after his fourth quarter spearheaded Utah's rally over Portland at the Moda Center.

"This means a lot," Burke said. "It's a confidence booster for sure. Portland's a great team, and wins like this means that we can measure ourselves and see where we're at."

From the Jazz front office, to coach Quin Snyder, to Burke's teammates, to Burke himself, the story from the first two weeks reads similar: The game has slowed down for the point guard who once led Michigan to the NCAA title game.

No longer does he look overwhelmed defensively. No longer is he penetrating the lane without a plan. No longer is he firing up questionable shots at the expense of moving the offense. Of course, two weeks and a few games serve as a small sample size. And another test comes on Monday night, when Chris Paul and the Los Angeles Clippers visit EnergySolutions Arena. But it's another challenge for Burke, who faced Damian Lillard last week. It's another opportunity to prove consistency.

"The best thing so far about Trey is that he's defending," Snyder said. "That's starting to become who he is, and we're pleased about that. He's getting people involved and he's playing unselfish basketball. He's realizing when to move the ball and when to look for his offense, and we need that from him."

Last week, Burke was asked about the ice packs, and stated that he planned on using them every game, soreness or not. It's something he didn't do last season, but is this year for preservation. It's just another trick, another nuance from being in the league for a season.

He averaged 16.5 points, 5.5 assists and 3.5 rebounds a game last week, leading Utah to a pair of wins over the Blazers. Thursday's stretch run, in a 109-105 win, served as an announcement of sorts that he is an improved player.

Burke scored nine of his 22 points in the fourth quarter, many of those points coming in the final five minutes. He hit runners, he finished at the rim and he got himself to the free-throw line. His deep 3-pointer in the final minute gave the Jazz a lead they wouldn't relinquish.

"The experience he has from last year is starting to show," Jazz forward Gordon Hayward said. "He's making shots, and he made some gutsy plays against Portland. He's got a confidence about him that he can get the job done."

A little more than two weeks away from the regular-season, Utah is looking for a clutch performer, the guy who will get buckets down the stretch. Burke supplied a convincing audition for the role last week. He's also creating offense, and putting his teammates in good position.

For Burke, it's all a part of the process. The six-foot guard who saw the Jazz use their NBA Draft lottery pick on point guard Dante Exum is making an argument about his own value. The question is can be be consistent, and can his success spill into the games that actually count.

Still, at least after the first two weeks, those that matter with the Jazz have to be encouraged by what they see.

Twitter: @tjonessltrib —

Trey Burke

• Averaging 16.5 points and 5.5 assists through two preseason games

• Entering his second season with the Jazz

• Scored 22 points in a 105-102 win over Portland on Thursday —

Clippers at Jazz

P Preseason, Monday, 7 p.m.