Trail Blazers vs Jazz Thursday, 04/07/11 AT 07:30PM

Trail Blazers Regain Sixth Place In Win Over Jazz

  1. Written by: ShalamarClark  / avg. rating: 5.0

    Portland jumped back into sixth place in the Western Conference after Gerald Wallace scored 29 points and eight rebounds for the Trail Blazers to beat the Utah Jazz, 98-87, Thursday at EnergySolutions Arena.

    Wallace scored 14 points in the fourth quarter and made 10-of-18 from the field, 5-of-5 from the line and tied a season-high four 3-pointers as Portland (46-33) swept Utah (37-42) at home twice this season for only the second time in franchise history to claim the 3-1 series win.

    “[I’m] just more relaxed,” said Wallace. “The guys want me to shoot. The coaches want me to shoot and just play off of them. You know it’s hard coming into a new system. You don’t know your role. You’re trying to find your routine. You don’t want to step on anybody’s toes and it helps when the guys and the coaches say just relax and play and have fun.”

    Nicolas Batum scored 21 points, LaMarcus Aldridge had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, and Wesley Matthews ended with 18 points, seven rebounds and nailed 8-of-8 at the stripe.

    The Jazz cut the Trail Blazers’ seven-point lead to start the third quarter to four, but Batum scored on a lay-up and hit a free throw to complete a 7-0 run for a 63-52 advantage.

    Devin Harris, who led Utah with 26 points and five assists, scored 14 points in the third after hitting four three-pointers. He made three straight shots from long range to bring the Jazz back to within four.

    “I thought we were solid defensively,” said Harris, who had seven turnovers, “but we gave up some offensive rebounds and I think too many layups on our causing turnovers, mine especially.”

    Portland finished the third on a strong note, stringing together an 11-3 run with a three from Matthews and a Batum dunk to go into the fourth quarter up 79-67.

    “We didn’t have the same consistency that we had the other night (against the Lakers),” said Jazz Head Coach Tyrone Corbin. “We had spurts and triedto make some runs, but we just couldn’t put it together for long stretches tonight.”

    Paul Millsap registered 19 points and 10 rebounds for Utah, while Al Jefferson scored 10 points and a game-high 14 rebounds and Gordon Hayward added 10 points.

    The Trail Blazers marked their third win in a row over the Jazz, finding early production from Brandon Roy, who shot 4-of-5 in the first two quarters for nine points and ended with 11.

    “We got some good production from guys you know, tonight,” said Roy. “LaMarcus (Aldridge) was, you know, I think he was just a little tired. Banging with Big Al (Al Jefferson) can take a lot out of you, so I was happy with the way a number of guys stepped up and helped us get a win ‘cause a team who again has nothing really to lose.”

    Portland outscored Utah 27-18 in the first quarter, where Roy scored seven straight points and hit two jumpers and a lay-up to close the opening period with a 27-18 lead. 

    Derrick Favors hustled for six of his eight points in the second quarter and dropped in a reverse lay-in for the Jazz to trail 32-29. Batum stretched the lead back to seven on a dunk, but Harris scored five points on Utah’s 7-2 run to trim the gap 38-36. Portland answered with its own push with an 11-6 spurt capped by Wallace’s lay-up to lead 49-42 at halftime. 

    The Trail Blazers dished out 24 assists to the Jazz’s 19 and was led by Andre Miller, who contributed a game-high 12 dimes to pass the 7,000 career mark. He also had five points. 

    “I thought tonight our guys came out and played,” said Trail Blazers’ Head Coach Nate McMillan. “You know, we got a little sloppy there for a minute but made some plays.”

    The Trail Blazers will head home for back-to-back competition against the Los Angeles Lakers (55-23) on Friday. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 PM.

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