Damian Lillard's 3-point barrage boosts Portland Trail Blazers past Utah Jazz

By Kerry Eggers, The Sports Xchange  |  Feb. 22, 2016 at 1:18 AM
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PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Utah Jazz had the Portland Trail Blazers in trouble, bolting to a 60-47 lead early in the third quarter. Then "Lillard Time" came early.

Guard Damian Lillard buried four consecutive 3-pointers in a span of one minute, 37 seconds to key a 17-1 run and push the Trail Blazers into a 64-61 advantage.

With Lillard and guard CJ McCollum combining for 61 points, the Blazers went on to a 115-111 victory Sunday night at the Moda Center.

McCollum finished with 31 points. Lillard had 30, with 12 of them coming in succession at the critical point in the third quarter.

"I stepped back and hit one, and it felt good," said Lillard, who was coming off a career-high, 51-point performance in a 137-105 pounding of the Golden State Warriors on Friday night. "I saw one go in, and then I saw another one go in. Once I see two go in, I know I can get rolling. And I was able to."

Forward Moe Harkless came off the bench for 17 points and seven rebounds for the Blazers, who won for the 10th time in 11 games.

Forward Derrick Favors collected 22 points and eight rebounds for the Jazz, who lost for only the second time in 11 outings. Forward Gordon Hayward had 21 points, guard Rodney Hood 18 and guard Shelvin Mack 16 points and six assists, the latter in his first appearance in a Jazz uniform.

"(The Blazers) played really hard," Utah coach Quin Snyder said. "They were just going at it. They made more plays than we did down the stretch."

Portland (29-27) maintained its position in seventh place in the Western Conference, a half-game back of the sixth-place Dallas Mavericks (30-27).

Utah (27-28) could have passed the Blazers with a win Sunday night. Instead, the Jazz fell a half-game behind the eighth-place Houston Rockets (28-28).

"We needed this one, even more so than the Golden State game," said Portland center Mason Plumlee, who contributed nine points, nine rebounds, six assists and two steals.

Utah led by as many as 13 points in the second quarter but settled for a 52-47 halftime advantage. Mack -- acquired Thursday from the Atlanta Hawks in a trade-deadline deal -- had 10 points and five assists for the Jazz while McCollum scored 15 on 6-for-9 shooting in the half for the Blazers.

The Jazz started the third quarter on an 8-0 run to go on top by 13 points. Lillard then heated up. He scored 15 points in the quarter, but Utah took an 82-80 lead into the final period.

McCollum's 3-pointer gave Portland a 98-96 advantage, but Favors' rebound jam tied it at 98-98 with 5:10 left. Favors scored on another rebound dunk with 4:16 to go to tie it at 101-101, but Lillard knocked down a pair at the line to bring the Blazers back into the lead at 103-101.

Plumlee hiked Portland's lead to 105-101 on a driving layup with 2:17 remaining. Hood's back-to-back 3-pointers then gave the Jazz a 107-105 advantage, but McCollum tied it at 107-107 on a layup, and Lillard's layup gave the Blazers a 109-107 edge with 40 seconds to go.

Hayward tied it again at 109-109 on a short jumper with 29 seconds to play, but Lillard's driving layup made it 111-109 with 20.4 seconds on the clock. McCollum sank two free throws to boost the difference to 113-109 with 13.3 seconds left.

Favors scored on a rebound basket to cut it to 113-111 with 4.7 seconds left. McCollum sealed it with a pair at the line with 2.7 ticks to go.

"Utah did a really good job defensively on us the first half," Portland coach Terry Stotts said. "I'm surprised we ended up with as many points as we did. We really struggled to score.

"Dame's four threes (in the third quarter) got us back into it, but Utah played extremely hard and made it difficult for us. It was good to get out of with a win."

NOTES: G Damian Lillard became the first Trail Blazer to score 30 points in four consecutive games since Clyde Drexler in November 1991. ... The Blazers won for the ninth time in their past 12 meetings with the Jazz. ... This was the final regular-season meeting between the teams. Portland won three of four. ... In his past five games, Portland F Moe Harkless has come off the bench to average 12.4 points, making 29 of 46 shots from the field (63 percent).

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