After 36 minutes on Friday night, it looked as if the Portland Trail Blazers were on their way to a 4th consecutive loss, but at the start of the final period, they were able to put together a run to pulsed them past the worth effort of the Utah Jazz in a 102-94 win.
Trailing 73-64 after 3 quarters, Damian Lillard and company went on a 16-2 spurt that shoved them into the lead at 80-75, and from that point forward, Portland never trailed. The Blazers were playing without their best player in LaMarcus Aldridge, but Lillard was up to the challenge, and the young point guard led the way with 28 points and 7 assists. In support of Lillard, Portland also got big nights from Wesley Matthews (24 points in 33 minutes) and Robin Lopez (12 points, 18 rebounds), and every time they needed a game-shifting bucket, someone in their rotation was able to produce.
On the Utah side, this is a tough loss, simply because they pulled so well for 3 quarters. Enes Kanter had one of the best games in his career with 25 points and 10 rebounds at the center spot, and rookie lottery pick Trey Burke played quite well with 21 points, 7 assists, and 6 rebounds on the night. In addition, the Jazz were able to hold the league’s top scoring offense to just 42.9% shooting, and giving up 102 points to Portland is nothing to be ashamed about.
With the win, the Blazers improve to 20-7 in the Rose Garden this season, and because of the fact that Aldridge was missing in action, it was one of their guttiest wins of the season.