Aldridge has 24 to lead Blazers past Jazz 105-94
- Article by: JOHN COON
- Associated Press
- December 9, 2013 - 10:45 PM
SALT LAKE CITY — LaMarcus Aldridge scored 24 points and Damian Lillard added 17 to propel the Portland Trail Blazers to a 105-94 victory over the Utah Jazz on Monday night.
Robin Lopez chipped in 15 points and 11 rebounds, and Wesley Matthews added 16 points for the Blazers, who bounced back with their second win over Utah this season after losing to Dallas on Saturday to snap a four-game winning streak.
Reserve Alec Burks had 20 points for the Jazz, who dropped their fourth game in a row. Enes Kanter added 19 points and Gordon Hayward chipped in 17 for Utah, which trailed the entire second half after nine ties and nine lead changes in the first half.
Portland played clean basketball to build a second-half cushion and hold off a late Jazz rally. The Blazers had 23 assists and shot 47.1 percent (40 of 85) from the floor, while committing just 11 turnovers.
Portland broke open a close game by making six straight baskets to open the third quarter. Aldridge drained a jumper to start the run and Matthews capped the spurt with a 3-pointer, giving Portland a 64-51 lead at the 8:29 mark.
Kanter made a pair of baskets to shave the lead to 64-57. It only set the stage for another Blazers run. This time, Portland rattled off four unanswered baskets — capped by Lopez's layup — to extend its lead to 72-57 with 4:13 remaining in the third quarter.
The Blazers shot a blistering 61.1 percent (11 of 18) from the field in the third quarter.
Utah made another run at the Blazers midway through the fourth quarter. Back-to-back jumpers from Hayward cut Portland's lead to single digits. Then, Trey Burke made a pair of free throws to bring the Jazz within 89-82 with 5:45 remaining.
Utah cut the lead to seven several more times and pulled within 97-92 on a pair of free throws from Hayward with 1:28 left. But Nicolas Batum and Lillard drained 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions to put the game out of reach in the final minute.
Burke and Kanter put on a two-man show for the Jazz in the first quarter. The duo combined for 13 of Utah's first 15 points to help the Jazz keep pace with the Blazers.
Portland created a small cushion late in the first half. Trailing by one after another layup by Kanter, the Blazers scored six straight points and took a 40-35 lead on a pair of free throws from Aldridge. They extended the lead to 49-41 after Lopez dunked and Aldridge scored an uncontested layup on back-to-back possessions.
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