The Portland Trail Blazers started their playoff stretch run in impressive fashion Friday night in Salt Lake City, beating the host Utah Jazz 100-81 and snapping the Jazz’s 11 game winning streak. After a tight first quarter, the Blazers pulled away in the third quarter, and then withstood a mini Jazz rally in the fourth quarter. Utah was held to just 51 points in the final three quarters of the game.
CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard combined for 50 points, and Jusuf Nurkic added 15. Donovan Mitchell lead Utah with 21 points.
Here are a few takeaway’s from tonight’s game:
- CJ to the Rescue: After the Jazz cut the deficit to single digits late, McCollum answered with three straight field goals in the final minutes to put the game out of reach.
- Moe Defense: Maurice Harkless was active on the defensive end of the floor all night long. He finished with a career-high six steals on the game, and had four in the first quarter alone.
- Sloppy Start: The two teams combined for 22 turnovers in the first half—10 for Portland and 12 for Utah.
- Approaching History: Lillard has now made 54 consecutive free throws. The Blazers’ all-time record is 57 by Damon Stoudamire, set in 2005.
The Blazers are in Phoenix tomorrow to take on the Suns. Stay tuned for more coverage from tonight’s game on Blazer’s Edge.