SALT LAKE CITY, Feb. 2 (UPI) -- Al Jefferson
keyed a strong first half Friday that sent Utah to an 86-77 triumph over Portland, the seventh win for the Jazz in nine games.
Jefferson scored 21 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and pushed Utah to a 15-point halftime advantage.
Paul Millsap added 15 points for Utah, Randy Foye had 14 and DeMare Carroll scored 13. The Jazz easily held on despite managing just 13 points in the fourth quarter.
The teams will meet again Saturday in Portland.
The game was marred when Portland guard Wesley Matthews suffered a severely sprained right ankle and had to be helped off the court during the third quarter. He was injured when he slipped while driving to the basket. X-rays were negative.
Rookie Damian Lillard led Portland with 26 points and Lamarcus Aldridge had 16 points to go with 10 rebounds.
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