Matthews scores 24, Trail Blazers rout Jazz 130-98
- Article by: JOEL FOWLKS
- Associated Press
- December 7, 2013 - 1:05 AM
PORTLAND, Ore. — The Trail Blazers had the perfect recipe for a record shooting night — nice ball movement, open shooters, a good rhythm, and one of the NBA's worst teams as an opponent.
"We were feeling it," Wesley Matthews said after Portland set franchise and league 3-point records in a 130-98 win over the struggling Utah Jazz on Friday.
Matthews scored 24 points and LaMarcus Aldridge added 20 points and 15 rebounds for the surging Blazers, who have won four straight and 15 of 16. Portland made 17 of 23 shots from 3-point range for 73.9 percent, an NBA record for a team with at least 20 attempts, according to basketball-reference.com. Portland also surpassed its previous franchise mark of 16 3-pointers.
Damian Lillard added 21 points and Nicolas Batum had 13 for the Blazers.
Alec Burks had 16 points to lead the Jazz, who trailed by as many as 42. They have lost 10 of 11 games on the road this season.
Gordon Hayward, Jeremy Evans and John Lucas III scored 10 apiece.
"It wasn't a lack of effort," Hayward said. "It just started to snowball on us."
With the best record in the Western Conference, the Blazers (17-3) have been one of the NBA's most surprising teams. After winning only 33 games last season, Portland has more than half that total.
And after beating Indiana and Oklahoma City in their last two games, the Blazers have even received some national notoriety, including being the subject of a New York Times feature story Thursday.
Aldridge has scored 20 points or more in all but four games this season. He was serenaded with chants of "MVP! MVP!" after putting up 38 points and 13 rebounds in Portland's 111-104 win over the Thunder on Wednesday.
Portland's sharp jump shooting has required opponents to respect the outside shooters and not spend so much time containing Aldridge inside, which has led to his increasing dominance.
"Last year I was getting doubled a lot. There's a lot more 1-on-1 play now," he said.
While the Blazers are leading the West, Utah (4-17) is in the basement. The Jazz entered with the least potent offense in the conference at 91.2 points per game. Utah shot just 41 percent Friday but it was defense that left coach Tyrone Corbin shaking his head. The Jazz were outscored 39-22 in the first quarter and 40-13 in the third.
"If you give up 40 points in a quarter and 30 points in a quarter, it's like you're not even on the floor," Corbin said.
Utah point guard Trey Burke struggled to contain Lillard early and scored seven points in 16 minutes. Burke, a rookie from Michigan, has given the Jazz a lift since moving into the starting lineup over the past seven games, and Utah is 3-4 during that stretch.
There was talk of a "trap game" in the Portland locker room before the game, and the Blazers were wary of a letdown. It was clear from the beginning that wouldn't happen.
The Blazers led by as many as 17 in the first quarter and, other than a lag when the Jazz cut the lead to 48-40 in the second, controlled the whole game.
Lillard scored all his points in the first half and the Blazers led 67-56 at the break. They scored the first 10 points of the third and extended their lead to 89-59 by the middle of the quarter. Portland led 107-69 entering the final period.
"I think we came out and took care of business," Dorell Wright said. "They made their run in the second quarter, and I think we responded well in the second half as far as coming out and getting stops and making our shots."
NOTES: Batum wrote "R.I.P. Madiba" on his sneaker as a tribute to Nelson Mandela, the South African leader who died Thursday at 95. ... The teams play again Monday in Salt Lake City. ... Jazz F Marvin Williams (heel) did not make the trip and was replaced by Enes Kanter in the starting lineup. ... Portland's previous season high for points was 118 in overtime against Toronto on Nov. 17.
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