Jazz 118, Trail Blazers 105

Deron Williams called it an easy night – just pass the ball and

whoever caught it was likely to score.

It’s been that way lately for the Williams and the Utah Jazz,

who increased their season-high winning streak to seven with a

118-105 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday


“I like it. I’d rather do this,” said Williams, who had 13

points and 13 assists to help the Jazz beat the Blazers for the

second time in a week.

Williams has been averaging 19 points this season – second only

to Carlos Boozer for the Jazz – but Utah had plenty of other

players scoring Wednesday night.

Mehmet Okur had a scored a season-high 28 points and had eight

rebounds, and Andrei Kirilenko added 22 points, eight assists and

six rebounds for Utah.

Paul Millsap had 12 points and eight rebounds, rookie Wesley

Matthews had 16 points and C.J. Miles scored 10.

Every Utah player that took a shot made at least one as the Jazz

made 42 of 67 shots for their highest shooting percentage this

season. Kirilenko was 8 for 9 and Matthews made all six of his

field-goal attempts.

“We passed the ball real well tonight,” Utah coach Jerry Sloan

said. “For the most part we passed it to guys that were open and

we got some easy baskets.”

Utah shot over 70 percent (24 for 34) in the second half and

finished with 32 assists on 42 field goals. The Jazz beat the Trail

Blazers for the second time in a week and improved to 3-0 in the

Northwest Division rivalry this season.

Utah outscored Portland 62-38 in the paint and did it without

Boozer, who missed his third straight game with a strained right


“We weren’t even close to stopping these guys,” Portland coach

Nate McMillan said. “It was poor defense all around. We didn’t

control the ball, which allowed them to get into the paint and then

drop it for easy baskets.”

LaMarcus Aldridge had 27 points and 12 rebounds to lead the

Blazers, playing their eighth straight game without scoring leader

Brandon Roy (right hamstring).

Martell Webster added 20 points, and Jerryd Bayless finished

with 14 points, but the Blazers continued to struggle without Roy.

Portland is 3-5 since Roy was injured on Jan. 20 against

Philadelphia and has fallen to No. 8 in the Western Conference


“We think about it every day,” Aldridge said. “We know that

every game is important and are trying to fight and get back up in

the standings.”

Utah was 24 for 34 in the second half and used an 8-1 run late

in the fourth quarter to finally pull away from Portland.

The Blazers got to 97-90 on a jumper by Aldridge, then Utah was

able to outrun Portland for a brief stretch that clinched it.

Williams started it with a a defensive rebound, then drove all

the way down the court and dished it off at the last second to

Matthews for a layup. Matthews followed with another layup,

Kirilenko added a dunk and Okur hit a long jumper that gave the

Jazz a 105-91 lead with 3:46 left.

Next up for Utah is Saturday against Denver, which leads the

division and is the last team to beat the Jazz.

“We’ve been clicking. We figured out our identity,” Matthews

said. “We’ve had stretches where we haven’t played as great, but

unlike earlier in the season, we didn’t let that get us down.”

NOTES: About 20 members of the U.S. Olympic team got a standing

ovation when they were introduced between the first two periods.

The group posed for a picture at mid-court as a few fans started

chanting “U-S-A! U-S-A!” … The Jazz beat the Blazers 106-95 the

week before in Portland. … Juwan Howard had 10 rebounds for