Jazz 103, Trail Blazers 94
The Portland Trail Blazers appeared powerless to stop C.J. Miles.
The reserve small forward came seemingly from nowhere to hit five 3-pointers in the fourth quarter - four of them from 26 feet and beyond - and the Utah Jazz came back to bury the Blazers 103-94 Saturday night.
''(The basket) looked as big as me throwing a rock in a lake,'' marveled Miles, who scored 17 of his 25 points in the final quarter and made a career-high seven 3-pointers. ''Only once or twice since I have been in the NBA have I been able to shoot the ball and just start backpedaling. That's how I felt in the second half.''
Al Jefferson had 20 points and 14 rebounds for the Jazz, who have been the NBA's best comeback team this season, with six fourth-quarter comeback wins. Paul Millsap had 15 points and six rebounds.
Utah trailed from the middle of the first quarter until the middle of the fourth, when Miles put them ahead 82-80 with his fourth 3-pointer. He hit three more as the Jazz pulled away from the stunned Blazers. LaMarcus Aldridge made a 20-footer to make it 94-92, but Utah went on an 11-2 run from there.
''I think sometimes the home team tightens up a little bit,'' said Utah assistant Phil Johnson, who was leading the Jazz for the second night, with Jerry Sloan attending a family member's funeral. ''I really believe that when a team is coming back on you like that it is hard to withstand.''
Aldridge had 24 points and 11 rebounds for the Blazers, who have dropped five in a row to Utah. Wesley Matthews had 16 points in place of injured All-Star Brandon Roy. Andre Miller had 15 points and nine assists.
Matthews started for the third game in place of Roy, who was resting his ailing right knee. The Blazers lured Matthews from the Jazz this offseason as a restricted free agent after a successful rookie season that was surprising because he went undrafted coming out of Marquette.
The 6-foot-5 guard scored a career-high 30 points against Memphis on Tuesday, and had 20 points and 10 rebounds Thursday against the Nuggets. Despite playing without Roy and after hearing the news that former No. 1 pick Greg Oden will miss the rest of the season after having his second microfracture knee surgery, Portland won both of those games. They appeared to be on their way to a third win Saturday.
''We were solid for three quarters,'' Matthews said. ''If it had been a three-quarter game we would have been all right. We knew going into this that they've been known for comebacks. They're a tough team and we didn't just put it together for four full quarters.''
Utah entered the game having won six of its last eight but off of a 1-2 homestand and was soundly beaten Friday by red-hot San Antonio.
The Jazz have made a habit of fourth-quarter comebacks. They had a stretch of five consecutive wins earlier this month after trailing in the fourth quarter, including three consecutive wins after trailing by at least 10 at halftime. That's the first time in shot-clock era that has happened.
Portland led by as many as 11 in the second quarter, but the Jazz went on a 10-0 run to cut the lead to 41-40 on a three-point play by Millsap. The Blazers led 48-45 at the break and by eight after three quarters.
Notes: Portland does not play again until Friday, when it hosts New Orleans. ... The Jazz have actually been better on the road this season (6-2) then at home (3-3). ... Portland had 24 offensive rebounds to Utah's six.