Trail Blazers 100, Jazz 89
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP)
Wesley Matthews tied a career high with 30 points, LaMarcus Aldridge added 27 and the Blazers beat the Utah Jazz 100-89 on Thursday night, hours after learning that their star guard will be sidelined for a lengthy period because of sore knees.
''We ain't going to worry about it,'' Andre Miller said. ''We just got to keep trucking. When (Roy's) out there, he's out there and when he is not, he's not. We just go to keep playing.''
The Blazers said before the game that Roy would be shut down indefinitely because of sore knees that have plagued him throughout the season. The All-Star has missed 10 games this season, including the last seven. The Blazers didn't put a timeline on Roy's absence, but general manager Rich Cho suggested it could be lengthy and coach Nate McMillan said it was possible Roy would be out the rest of the season.
Matthews, lured away from Utah over the summer with a five-year, $34 million deal, has flourished as Roy's replacement in the starting lineup. The second-year guard from Marquette entered the game averaging 15.4 points and has led the team in scoring in 11 games.
''We felt he was a good player when we picked him up in free agency,'' McMillan said. ''His role coming in was basically to come off the bench. With extended minutes, he has been good at the 2 and the 3 position. Tonight, we're missing Brandon, and anytime you are missing guys, it is an opportunity for someone else.''
Marcus Camby returned after missing three of Portland's last five games because of an ankle injury, leading Portland with a season-high 20 rebounds. Andre Miller added 16 points and 10 assists.
Utah cut it to 85-78 with 6:44 remaining after Jeremy Evans hit a running hook shot. But Portland went on a 6-0 run with Aldridge scoring down low and Miller knocking down a turnaround jumper to push the lead to double digits and end the threat.
The Jazz were coming off a road victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night. Utah entered the game 6-2 when playing for the second straight night, but the Jazz started slowly against Portland.
''It was poor effort, all the way around,'' guard Raja Bell said. ''You can talk it up all you want, but I thought we have to be tougher than that. That's just my personal opinion.''
The Jazz are also banged up. Mehmet Okur and Andrei Kirilenko sat out with back injuries for Utah. Kirilenko has missed two games. Okur was injured Wednesday. C.J. Miles, who had 25 points against Portland on Nov. 20, sat out with the flu.
The Blazers hit eight of their first 10 shots and Matthews made a 3-pointer put Portland up 19-10. However, the Blazers missed 14 of their next 17 shots and eventually lost the lead, with Earl Watson scoring to put Utah up 30-29. The Blazers regained the lead and were up 46-41 at halftime.
Matthews scored 16 points in the third quarter to help Portland take a 15-point lead at 70-55.
NOTES: Williams beat the first-quarter buzzer with a 46-foot heave from backcourt. ... The Blazers are 7-3 without Roy. ... Portland began a stretch where 11 of 16 games are at the Rose Garden.