February 24, 2018 / 4:47 AM / 6 months ago

McCollum, Lillard power Portland past Utah

CJ McCollum scored 26 points and Damian Lillard added 24 to lead the Portland Trail Blazers to a 100-81 victory over the Utah Jazz on Friday night.

Jusuf Nurkic scored 15 points and collected seven rebounds and Al-Farouq Aminu added 12 points and eight boards for Portland. The Blazers beat Utah for the first time this season after losing two previous meetings.

Donovan Mitchell scored 21 points to lead the Jazz while Rudy Gobert added 15 points, nine rebounds and four blocks. Joe Ingles chipped in 12 points, with 10 coming in the first quarter.

Utah had its league-leading 11-game winning streak snapped after being undone by turnovers. The Jazz totaled 20 turnovers over four quarters, leading to 22 points for the Blazers.

Portland’s offense ran as smoothly as a brand new engine in the first quarter. The Blazers capitalized on some early Jazz turnovers and hit 8 of their first 12 shots. They raced out to a 23-13 lead on a jumper from Maurice Harkness.

Mitchell hit a pair of 3-pointers that sparked a 10-0 Jazz run and erased Portland’s lead. Utah tied it up at 23-23 on two free throws from Jonas Jerebko.

The Jazz shot 11 of 16 (.688) from the field in the first quarter. They tied it four times, the final time at 30 apiece on a Ingles’ 3-pointer, but could not take a lead.

Portland reclaimed a double-digit lead in the second quarter. Back-to-back baskets from Nurkic capped a 9-2 run and gave the Blazers a 51-40 lead with 3:13 remaining before halftime. Mitchell buried a 3-pointer and Gobert threw down a dunk to cut the deficit to 51-47 just before the half. Utah couldn’t pull closer.

Portland outscored the Jazz 16-4 to open the third quarter. The Blazers went ahead 66-51 after scoring baskets on four straight possessions, culminating in a Nurkic layup.

Utah trimmed the deficit back to single digits late in the fourth quarter when Jae Crowder hit a jumper to cut Portland’s lead to 90-81. McCollum slammed the door shut on any comeback hopes. He buried three straight jumpers to fuel a game ending 10-0 run.

—Field Level Media

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