POR
UTA

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McCollum scores 26, Blazers end Utah's 11-game win streak

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard believe the crucial stretch of the long NBA season starts now and the Portland Trail Blazers have laser-like focus.

''We understand what's at stake now,'' McCollum said. ''One game - a loss or a win - could sway the Western Conference playoff race.''

McCollum scored 26 points, Lillard added 24 and the Trail Blazers snapped the Utah Jazz's 11-game winning streak with a 100-81 victory on Friday night.

''We did a great job keeping our focus, even when they made shots, went on runs and the crowd got into it. Our mentality allowed us to weather each storm that came,'' Lillard said.

McCollum and Lillard drove through and around the Jazz defense, which was ranked at the top of the league during their streak.

The Jazz finally got within single digits at 90-81 but McCollum scored on three consecutive isolation plays, all contested jumpers.

''We knew it was a big possession on that first one as they had cut our lead from double digits and their fans were getting into it,'' McCollum said. ''Called me a pick-and-roll, trying to get me some space. Got to the free throw line area, which is more of a sweet spot for me, a comfort shot. I rose up and hit it, so we just did the same thing again and again.''

Lillard cooled off from his previous three games, when he shot 42 for 76 and scored more than 44 points a game. But he worked numerous screens and had the Jazz defenders chasing the ball and opening opportunities for the other Blazers.

Jusuf Nurkic scored 15 points and Al-Farouq Aminu had 12 for the Blazers, who are now tied for sixth place in the Western Conference and just one-and-a-half games out of third place.

Donovan Mitchell had 21 points for Utah. Rudy Gobert scored 15 and Joe Ingles contributed 12 but the Jazz were sloppy with ball.

During their long winning streak, the Jazz consistently came up with loose balls in key scramble situations. Against Portland, the Jazz couldn't seem to hold on to the basketball, committing 20 turnovers and having numerous rebounds and passes squirt right through their hands.

''Turning the ball over as much as we did makes it really difficult. Obviously, we struggled on the offensive end. To me, it really starts there,'' Utah coach Quin Snyder said. ''We just didn't have that juice.''

The Blazers have won four of five, with the only loss a blowout to the Jazz on Feb. 11.

After Mitchell trimmed the Portland lead to 53-49, McCollum hit two 3-pointers and a runner to spark a 13-2 run. After the Jazz trimmed it back to 11, Lillard's crossover stepback jumper gave the Blazers an 80-64 lead entering the final period.

The Blazers are looking to follow a pattern of strong finishes as they reached the playoffs with a 17-11 closing record in 2016 and an 18-8 post-All-Star Game mark in 2017.

''Our guys were really locked in. I was really pleased with the way we sustained our defensive focus throughout the game,'' Portland coach Terry Stotts said.

TIP-INS

Blazers: Portland scored 22 points off Utah's 20 turnovers. ... The Blazers never trailed. ... Portland only allowed six second-chance points and had 14 on their end. ... Mo Harkless had six steals.

Jazz: Ricky Rubio returned after missing three games before the All-Star break with a sore left hip and had four points. Conversely, reserve point guard Raul Neto sprained his ankle in shootaround Friday. ... Gobert got a technical foul in the third quarter after arguing a no-call.

RETURN TO PRESENT

Darrell Griffith, who has been a mentor to Mitchell and the last Utah player to win the Rookie of the Year award, presented the Slam Dank champion trophy before the game. Both guards played collegiately at Louisville. Griffith starred for the Jazz from 1980-91 and is a favorite of more than one member of the Utah organization. ''I had a Dr. Dunkenstein Nike poster,'' Snyder said. ''I know him. I know him well.''

UP NEXT

Blazers: Visit the Phoenix Suns on Saturday night.

Jazz: Host the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday night.

Copyright 2018 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

Key Players
D. Lillard
0 PG
D. Mitchell
45 SG
32.1 Min. Per Game 32.1
19.6 Pts. Per Game 19.6
3.5 Ast. Per Game 3.5
3.5 Reb. Per Game 3.5
44.6 Field Goal % 43.8
44.5 Three Point % 43.9
92.6 Free Throw % 83.7
  Defensive rebound by Al-Farouq Aminu 0:02
  Royce O'Neale missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:02
+ 2 Zach Collins made hook shot, assist by Evan Turner 0:16
  Defensive rebound by Evan Turner 0:27
  Royce O'Neale missed layup, blocked by Zach Collins 0:32
  Defensive rebound by Joe Ingles 0:35
  Al-Farouq Aminu missed jump shot 0:40
  Offensive goaltending turnover on Ekpe Udoh 1:00
  Team rebound 1:07
  Donovan Mitchell missed layup 1:07
+ 2 Jusuf Nurkic made floating jump shot, assist by CJ McCollum 1:16
Team Stats
Points 100 81
Field Goals 39-87 (44.8%) 33-78 (42.3%)
3-Pointers 9-24 (37.5%) 6-25 (24.0%)
Free Throws 13-14 (92.9%) 9-11 (81.8%)
Total Rebounds 47 49
Offensive 6 8
Defensive 34 35
Team 7 6
Assists 14 15
Steals 11 7
Blocks 5 6
Turnovers 12 19
Fouls 20 13
Technicals 0 2
26 PTS, 3 REB, 2 AST
15 PTS, 9 REB, 3 AST
1234T
away team logo Trail Blazers 33-26 31222720100
home team logo Jazz 30-29 3017171781
Team Stats
away team logo Trail Blazers 33-26 105.5 PPG 43.5 RPG 19.0 APG
home team logo Jazz 30-29 102.4 PPG 45 RPG 20.3 APG
Key Players
C. McCollum SG 21.4 PPG 4.0 RPG 3.4 APG 44.3 FG%
D. Mitchell SG 20.5 PPG 3.7 RPG 3.7 APG 43.7 FG%
Top Scorers
C. McCollum SG 26 PTS 3 REB 2 AST
D. Mitchell SG 21 PTS 3 REB 1 AST
44.8 FG% 42.3
37.5 3PT FG% 24.0
92.9 FT% 81.8
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
C. McCollum 35 26 3 2 0 0 1 3 11/21 4/7 0/0 0 3 32 +25
D. Lillard 36 24 4 3 1 0 4 0 7/18 2/7 8/8 0 4 31 +15
J. Nurkic 25 15 7 2 0 3 2 4 7/15 0/0 1/2 0 7 27 +28
A. Aminu 32 12 8 0 1 0 1 3 5/6 2/2 0/0 1 7 20 +22
M. Harkless 26 6 3 2 6 1 1 3 2/4 0/2 2/2 1 2 19 +24
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
C. McCollum 35 26 3 2 0 0 1 3 11/21 4/7 0/0 0 3 32 +25
D. Lillard 36 24 4 3 1 0 4 0 7/18 2/7 8/8 0 4 31 +15
J. Nurkic 25 15 7 2 0 3 2 4 7/15 0/0 1/2 0 7 27 +28
A. Aminu 32 12 8 0 1 0 1 3 5/6 2/2 0/0 1 7 20 +22
M. Harkless 26 6 3 2 6 1 1 3 2/4 0/2 2/2 1 2 19 +24
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
E. Davis 21 6 8 0 1 0 0 2 3/5 0/0 0/0 3 5 15 -11
S. Napier 19 5 1 1 2 0 1 1 2/10 1/4 0/0 0 1 9 +2
Z. Collins 16 4 4 1 0 1 1 1 2/3 0/1 0/0 1 3 10 -1
E. Turner 21 2 2 3 0 0 1 3 0/4 0/1 2/2 0 2 9 -5
P. Connaughton 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/1 0/0 0/0 0 0 0 -4
B. Rush - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Leonard - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Layman - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Wilcox - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Swanigan - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
W. Baldwin IV - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 235 100 40 14 11 5 12 20 39/87 9/24 13/14 6 34 172 +95
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
D. Mitchell 36 21 3 1 1 0 2 1 8/20 4/10 1/1 1 2 25 -12
R. Gobert 34 15 9 3 2 4 2 2 6/9 0/0 3/4 2 7 34 -10
J. Ingles 35 12 3 2 0 1 3 1 4/8 2/5 2/2 0 3 17 -27
R. Rubio 19 4 4 2 0 0 3 1 2/6 0/0 0/0 0 4 9 -18
D. Favors 24 4 9 2 1 0 0 2 2/6 0/1 0/0 2 7 18 -20
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
D. Mitchell 36 21 3 1 1 0 2 1 8/20 4/10 1/1 1 2 25 -12
R. Gobert 34 15 9 3 2 4 2 2 6/9 0/0 3/4 2 7 34 -10
J. Ingles 35 12 3 2 0 1 3 1 4/8 2/5 2/2 0 3 17 -27
R. Rubio 19 4 4 2 0 0 3 1 2/6 0/0 0/0 0 4 9 -18
D. Favors 24 4 9 2 1 0 0 2 2/6 0/1 0/0 2 7 18 -20
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
J. Crowder 26 11 2 0 0 1 4 1 5/11 0/2 1/2 0 2 10 -4
J. Jerebko 19 8 5 0 1 0 1 2 3/6 0/2 2/2 0 5 13 +8
A. Burks 10 4 2 0 0 0 0 0 2/4 0/2 0/0 0 2 6 -2
R. O'Neale 27 2 5 4 1 0 2 3 1/8 0/3 0/0 3 2 14 -5
E. Udoh 5 0 1 1 1 0 2 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 1 2 -5
T. Sefolosha - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G. Niang - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
E. McCree - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
R. Neto - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Exum - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Bradley - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 235 81 43 15 7 6 19 13 33/78 6/25 9/11 8 35 148 -95