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Lillard leads Blazers past Jazz
Portland, OR (SportsNetwork.com) - With one All-Star in street clothes, the other stepped up in a big way as Damian Lillard netted 14 of his game-high 28 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Portland Trail Blazers to a 102-94 win over the Utah Jazz on Friday.
Lillard also handed out seven assists while Robin Lopez grabbed a career-best 18 rebounds and blocked four shots to help Portland snap a three-game losing skid without the services of LaMarcus Aldridge, who missed his second straight out of the All-Star break with a strained left groin.
"When you're going through a tough stretch, it's hard to get back on track sometimes," Lillard said. "This win will get us back on track."
Wesley Matthews added 24 points and Mo Williams had 13 off the bench for Portland, which shot a perfect 17-of-17 from the charity stripe.
Enes Kanter tallied 25 points and 10 boards for Utah while Trey Burke and Gordon Hayward each stuffed the stat sheet in defeat. Burke had 21 points, seven assists and six boards while Hayward went for 17, seven and seven.
There were 19 lead changes and nine ties during this back-and-forth affair.
Portland trailed 73-64 entering the fourth quarter when Lillard came alive. After Nicolas Batum hit a 3 and Will Barton converted a reverse layup from Lillard, Portland's star point guard scored five straight to cap a 10-0 run and put them in front.
"They just came out right from the beginning of the fourth and got a turnover and made a 3-point shot. We made another mistake and they scored on it, and they ran from there," Utah head coach Tyrone Corbin said.
Lillard then earned back-to-back trips to the stripe and hit all four free throws. Out of a timeout, he slammed home an alley-oop feed from Batum, and Matthews made it 83-77 with his three-point play at 5:23.
Utah wouldn't go down without a fight. Burke and Richard Jefferson potted triples 34 seconds apart to cut the deficit to two, but Lillard removed all thoughts of a comeback when he stepped into a 3-pointer at the other end.
Williams scored four straight in the final minute to put it away.
Earlier, Portland led 16-15 after a sloppy first quarter in which neither team shot better than 35 percent. It was 43-39 at the break.
The Jazz put forth a dominant effort in the third quarter to pull in front. Burke scored 12 points on 5-of-5 shooting in the frame and Utah shot 80 percent as a team while Portland made just 7-of-24 shots.
Portland has swept the season series to this point, winning three of the first four matchups. The final meeting is set for April 11 ... Lopez scored 12 points ... Portland's reserves outscored their counterparts, 30-19.
02/22 01:58:09 ET