Portland coach Terry Stotts is impressed after getting smacked twice in four nights by the Jazz. Utah rallied from a nine-point fourth-quarter deficit to win 105-95 at the Rose Garden on Friday, and the Jazz were never really challenged in picking up their fifth win in which they led from tipoff to the final buzzer.
Utah, by the way, has beaten three other teams aside from Portland by double digits in this timely winning streak.
"The turnovers (16) and offensive rebounds (10) just gave them extra possessions, and they were able to take advantage of it," said Stotts, whose team only scored four second-chance points compared to Utah's 15. "They (the Jazz) are playing at a good level right now. They are making a playoff push and I'll give them credit, especially here at home."
Two guys Utah basketball fans are familiar with had nice nights for Portland (33-41) despite the team's fifth straight loss.
Former Jazz guard Wesley Matthews led the Blazers with 23 points and four 3-pointers, while Weber State product Damian Lillard had 17 points, five assists and five rebounds in his second outing in his college state.
It was clear, though, which team had more to play for in this one.
The Jazz jumped out to an early 14-point lead and pulled away for good in the third quarter after Portland briefly challenged in the second quarter.
"It feels good. We need to be on this winning streak," Hayward said. "There's no time to celebrate. We've got some good guys coming in and we gotta keep winning."
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