Jazz 93, Trail Blazers 89

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 31, 2012
Paul Millsap had 19 points and 15 rebounds, and the Utah Jazz used a 13-0 fourth-quarter run to beat the Portland Trail Blazers 93-89 on Monday night. LaMarcus Aldridge led Portland with 25 points, including 14 in the third quarter as the Blazers built an 11-point lead. But the Jazz fought back, even without starting center Al Jefferson and guard Raja Bell, who did not play because of injuries. The loss was the eighth in 11 road games for the Blazers, who had beaten Utah three consecutive times. Wesley Matthews' runner pulled Portland to 90-89 with 5.6 seconds left before C.J. Miles made one of two free throws. Gordon Hayward, who started 0 of 8 from the field, grabbed the rebound of Miles' miss and sank a pair of foul shots for the final margin. Hayward finished with 12 points. Josh Howard had 11 points and seven rebounds in his first start for the Jazz. The Blazers took three of four from their Northwest Division rivals last season. They appeared to be headed toward another win Monday night, especially with Utah shooting 27.3 percent at one point in the second quarter. Aldridge scored 14 of his team's first 18 points in the third, hitting his first six shots as Portland built its lead to 63-52 with 5:32 left. But the Jazz came charging back with a 10-0 run behind point guard Devin Harris. He hit a long jumper, sank a free throw, then stole the ball from Jamal Crawford and fed Millsap for a jam that cut Portland's lead to 63-59 with 2:58 left in the quarter. Harris capped the run with a short jumper off a fast break. Hayward hit a 3-pointer to tie it at 65 with 1:26 left in the quarter. The Jazz went on a 13-0 spurt in the fourth to take an 87-79 lead with 4:13 remaining. Earl Watson scored on a fast-break layup and 19-foot jumper, and sent an alley-oop pass to Jeremy Evans for a dunk. Aldridge ended a 6-minute Blazers scoring drought with a hook shot, and Nicolas Batum followed with a 3-pointer to pull Portland to 87-84. But Millsap hit a jumper for a five-point Jazz lead with 1:43 left. The Blazers twice got within a point after that, but couldn't get the big play when they needed it at the end. Jefferson, bothered by inflammation in his right ankle, missed his third game in two seasons with the Jazz. Bell had started every game this season but strained his right adductor Saturday against Sacramento. The Blazers led 26-20 after the first quarter, with a 16-4 advantage on points in the paint. They also shot 54.5 percent, compared to just 33.3 percent (7 of 21) for the Jazz. Portland went on an early 6-0 run, fueled by its defense. The Blazers bumped their lead to 10 points after opening the second quarter on a 6-2 run, fueled by baskets from Craig Smith, Matthews and Kurt Thomas. By that point the Jazz were shooting 29 percent (9 of 31). It fell even lower, to 27.3 percent (9 of 33), but Utah was winning the rebounding battle. Portland led by as many as 11 in the second quarter before the Jazz went on a 7-0 run, including four points on tip-ins by Derrick Favors and Watson's layup off yet another miss by Hayward. The Blazers led 45-39 at halftime even though the Jazz were shooting just 30.4 percent (14 of 46). Utah held a 27-18 rebounding edge. NOTES: No player was in double figures by halftime. ... In the first half, the teams were a combined 2 of 14 from 3-point range. ... Gerald Wallace was assessed a technical foul in the fourth quarter in the midst of the 13-0 Jazz run. ... Batum had to be helped off the court late in the game after going down hard.
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