Jazz 96, Trail Blazers 86
“They’ve got players,” Randolph said. “Deron (Williams) at the point and Mehmet shooting the ball, they’ve got a complete team. Boozer is a tough player. They’re going to be real good, a playoff team.”
Randolph scored 34 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, but got little help from his teammates. It was Randolph’s eighth game with at least 30 points and 10 boards.
Okur shot 9-of-13 and scored four points in a late 8-2 run that sealed the game for the Jazz. His runner in the lane gave Utah a 94-82 lead with 1:02 left.
“(We) tried to come out more active (tonight). I think we did a pretty well taking care of all of our jobs,” Okur said.
Meanwhile, the Blazers were often out of synch, just watching Randolph work in the post.
“We’re still trying to find our rhythm. Right now, we’re not playing unselfish basketball,” said Brandon Roy, who had 17 points for the Blazers
Portland has lost five straight and 10 of its last 11 games at Utah. Despite playing in the second half of a back-to-back set, the Blazers nearly rallied from 24 points down but ran out of energy in the fourth quarter.
“Zach was the one guy keeping us close, keeping us in the game. He got some things going, but it just wasn’t enough,” Blazers coach Nate McMillan said.
Boozer notched his 23rd double-double of the season and Andrei Kirilenko added 14 points for the Jazz, who have won three of four and rebounded from a 106-83 loss to San Antonio on Thursday.
“(Utah coach Jerry) Sloan got on us after we played the Spurs and said we have to continue to fight. We got blown out there but we came back and played harder in this game,” said Paul Millsap, who had had 11 points and six rebounds in just 15 minutes. Utah outrebounded Portland 44-35.
“Most importantly we got decent shots tonight. I thought we executed pretty well and we finished strong at the end of the game,” Sloan said. The Jazz shot 50.6 from the field and improved to 14-0 when making at least half of their attempts.
The Blazers surrendered 50 points in the paint and 18 second-chance points.
“Utah, they live in the paint. That’s where they attack you,” said McMillan, whose team has dropped four of its last five games.
The Jazz had their largest lead when Derek Fisher’s 3-pointer with 3:26 left in the third quarter made it 71-47. Fisher had 11 points and Williams contributed 12 assists.
But the Blazers slowly chipped away with a 24-6 run, sparked by Randolph. His jumper with 7:54 remaining cut the Jazz lead to 77-71.
The Jazz began running Kirilenko to double-down on Randolph and the Blazers offense started coming up empty. Randolph scored 14 of Portland’s 24 fourth-quarter points.
On the other end, the Jazz got points from Williams, Okur, Boozer and Kirilenko down the stretch.
Utah outrebounded Portland 44-35. Paul Millsap had 11 points and six rebounds in just 15 minutes for the Jazz.
The Blazers struggled at the line, shooting just 12-of-23, including 5-of-10 in the final period.
Twice in the third quarter, the game was halted due to problems with the game clock. … Early in the fourth quarter, Juan Dixon got a technical foul after arguing an illegal screen foul. Nate McMillan was whistled for another technical 90 seconds later. … The Jazz are 19-4 when Boozer gets a double-double and just 3-5 when he does not.