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(Monday, April 1st)
Final Score: Utah 112, Portland 102
Salt Lake City, UT (Sports Network) - The Utah Jazz's longest winning streak of the season couldn't have come at a better time.
The Jazz have rattled off five straight victories, including Monday's 112-102 wire-to-wire triumph over the Portland Trail Blazers to move into sole possession of eighth place in the Western Conference standings.
Al Jefferson put up 24 points with 10 rebounds and Mo Williams added 20 points on 6-of-7 shooting from behind the arc for the Jazz, who shot 54 percent from the field and had six players score in double figures.
Utah was looking up at the Los Angeles Lakers for the West's last playoff spot following a four-game skid, but moved ahead by a half-game thanks to this run.
"We're just playing like we want to be in the playoffs and that's the difference. We've just got to continue to play well," Jefferson said.
Portland, playing without LaMarcus Aldridge for the third straight game, dropped its fifth in a row. Wesley Matthews had a team-high 23 points, while Damian Lillard chipped in 17 while setting a single-season rookie record for made 3-pointers.
"It's bitter sweet," Lillard said of the record. "I wish I did it in a win."
Utah scored the game's first seven points and took a 29-19 lead into the second quarter.
Portland pulled within one late in the half, but Williams' 3-pointer sparked a 9-3 run that ended in Jefferson's jumper for a 56-49 Jazz lead at the break.
Williams drained another from long range in the final minute of the third to give Utah its biggest lead at that time, 87-74, and the Jazz scored 10 of the first 15 points of the fourth to essentially put the game away.
The Jazz outscored the Blazers in the paint by a wide 52-28 margin and had 11 more second-chance points (15-4) ... Derrick Favors and Paul Millsap scored 18 and 16 points, respectively, in the victory ... Lillard made three 3-pointers, the first breaking Stephen Curry's mark of 166 in his rookie campaign ... The Blazers lost consecutive season series to the Jazz for the first time since the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons.
04/02 02:16:55 ET
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