Printed on: April 02, 2013

Jazz edge Blazers, pull past Lakers


ASSOCIATED PRESS

SALT LAKE CITY -- Al Jefferson scored 24 points, Mo Williams hit six 3-pointers and the Utah Jazz beat the Portland Trail Blazers 112-102 Monday night to extend their winning streak to a season-best five games.

The win was Utah's second in four days over the Blazers (33-41), losers of five consecutive.

Wesley Matthews scored 23 for Portland, still without leading scorer LaMarcus Aldridge because of a sprained ankle.

Rookie standout Damian Lillard added 17 points, including three 3-pointers to break the NBA's single-season rookie record (166) for 3s.

Utah moved a half-game ahead of the idle Los Angeles Lakers for the eighth Western Conference playoff spot, and two games ahead of Dallas.

The Blazers were within 79-72 after Eric Maynor's 3-pointer with 2:02 left in the third before Williams hit his fifth and sixth 3-pointers to give Utah an 87-74 lead going into the fourth.

Utah outscored Portland 52-28 in the paint. The Jazz opened the fourth on a 10-4 run, and never looked back.

Randy Foye did the damage in Saturday's win over Brooklyn, going 8 of 9 on 3-pointers. On Monday, it was Williams' turn.

He was a season-high 6 of 7 and finished with 20 points as six Jazz players scored in double figures.

Jefferson made 12 of 21 shots, had 10 rebounds, two steals and two blocks. Derrick Favors added 18 points and seven rebounds.

Lillard, the No. 6 overall pick in the June draft, had averaged 24.3 points in three previous games against Utah this season. And he was playing in a homecoming of sorts, having played just 40 miles north of Salt Lake City at Weber State.

But Williams made sure the rookie couldn't match him.

In Portland on Friday, Williams scored 26 of his 28 points in the second half. He was 3 of 3 from beyond the arc in the third Monday as Utah pulled away.

NOTES: Jefferson was named Western Conference player of the week Monday for the final week in March. In four wins, he averaged 19.8 points, 8.3 rebounds and shot 54 percent from the field. ... The Jazz were eying Lillard long before he started moving up the draft charts. "You have to admire the guy coming from the area here and having the success he's had after staying at (Weber State) for four years," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. "I'm a fan."