Blazers get 105-99 win over Jazz

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 3, 2013 at 1:16 am •  Published: February 3, 2013
Advertisement
;

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland's maligned group of reserves stepped up Saturday night, leading to one unusual scene in the Trail Blazers' locker room.

Little-used guard Nolan Smith had a season-high 13 points as the backups scored 28 points in all for their best total in more than a month, helping Portland to a 105-99 victory over the Utah Jazz.

Afterward, when a crowd of TV cameras and reporters circled Smith's locker, teammate Wesley Matthews chided the second-year guard, who has played for only 169 minutes in 23 appearances this season.

"Did L. A. switch lockers?" Matthews loudly asked, referring to the crowd that usually gathers for All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge.

Smith got his share of playing time against the Jazz in part because Matthews sat out with a sore right ankle.

"Wes is my big brother and he's the happiest guy in the locker room right now. He told me just to be myself and play basketball," Smith said.

Damian Lillard led the way with 23 points as the Trail Blazers salvaged the second half of back-to-back games between the division rivals. Utah beat Portland 86-77 on Friday night in Salt Lake City.

J.J. Hickson added 21 points and 11 rebounds, and Nicolas Batum fell just shy of this third triple-double of the season with 12 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.

But it was Smith, as well as bench players Luke Babbitt and Will Barton, who received all the accolades afterward. The Blazers led 88-83 on Smith's reverse layup with 4:59 to go. He added a 3-pointer that made it 93-87, and Portland held off the Jazz the rest of the way.

"We knew that with Wes out of the game tonight we were gonna need people to come in and step up," Lillard said. "I thought Luke did a good job of coming in and making shots and I though Nolan and Will were the keys to winning tonight."

Randy Foye had 23 points for the Jazz, who led by as many as 10 points in the third quarter.

"It was tough but I don't feel bad about it because I think we played well enough to win the game. It just didn't work out for us," said Al Jefferson, who finished with 12 points. "They had that home energy like home teams do."


by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
+ show more


Trending Now


AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    'Slender Man' Victim Gets Purple Heart Medal in Mail
  2. 2
    Here Are Your 'Fight Club 2' Details
  3. 3
    Bad hair day? New weather service can save your 'do
  4. 4
    Auschwitz selfie girl defends actions
  5. 5
    LeBron James apologizes for chaos in Ohio neighborhood with cupcakes
+ show more