Portland Trail Blazers center J.J. Hickson, right, looks to shoot against Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013.(AP Photo/Don Ryan)
Sunday, February 03, 2013 12:39 am
Blazers get 105-99 win over Jazz
By ANNE M. PETERSONAP Sports Writer
Utah defeated the Blazers 86-77 on Friday night in the first game of the back-to-back between the division rivals.
J.J. Hickson added 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Blazers, who have won four of their last six after a season-high six-game losing streak. Nicolas Batum had 12 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, falling just short of his third triple-double this season.
Randy Foye had 23 points for the Jazz, who led by as many as 10 points in the third quarter.
The Blazers led 88-83 on Nolan Smith's reverse layup with 4:59 left in the game. He added a 3-pointer that made it 93-87 and Portland held off the Jazz the rest of the way.
Lillard, the rookie points (18.3) and assists (6.5) leader who has won NBA Rookie of the Month honors for the past three months, added eight assists. The game was his 23rd this season with at least 20 points.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Blazers.
Both teams were banged up.
Portland was without starter Wesley Matthews, who rolled his right ankle in the loss to Utah the night before. Matthews tested the ankle in pregame warmups, but about 12 minutes before game time he was replaced in the starting lineup by Victor Claver.
Portland was also without backup point guard Ronnie Price, who had a sprained right ankle.
Meanwhile, Batum played despite a sore right wrist that has been bothering him for several games.
Utah guard Earl Watson left the first quarter of Friday night's game with a sore right leg. An MRI on Saturday showed the 12-year veteran's leg was bruised and he has a small stress fracture. It is not immediately known how long he will be out.
Gordon Hayward missed his fourth straight game for the Jazz with a strained right shoulder. And Mo Williams continues to recover from right thumb surgery,
Utah took an early 14-8 lead after Marvin Williams' turnaround jumper midway through the first quarter, and his 21-foot jumper extended Utah's lead to 21-15. But the Blazers wrapped up the quarter on a 9-2 run and pulled into to a 24-23 lead on Smith's jumper.
Both teams were streaky, with Utah going back in front 37-30 on Millsap's long jumper before Portland took a brief 41-40 lead on consecutive 3-pointers from Lillard.
After holding a narrow 46-43 edge at the half, the Jazz went up 60-50 in the third quarter on Foye's 3-pointer.
Luke Babbitt's 2-pointer and Will Barton's reverse layup capped a 9-0 run by Portland to narrow it to 63-62. Lillard's 3-pointer put the Blazers in front.
Smith's 3-pointer gave the Blazers a 79-71 lead early in the fourth quarter, but it didn't last long, and Utah evened it at 79 on Alec Burks' 3-pointer, his first field goal of the game.
Smith finished with a season-high 13 points.
Notes: The Jazz swept the Trail Blazers 4-0 last season. ... Claver, making his seventh start of the season for the Blazers, played on the silver medal- winning Spanish Olympic team. ... Brandon Roy also was named rookie of the month three times during his rookie season with the Blazers in 2006.