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Result as expected as Blazers bash Jazz

The SportsXchange

PORTLAND -- When the team with the worst record in the NBA's Western Conference met up with the best, the result was exactly what one might expect.

Guard Wesley Matthews scored 24 points, guard Damian Lillard chipped in 21 points -- all in the first half -- and forward LaMarcus Aldridge collected 20 points and 15 rebounds in Portland's 130-98 rout of Utah Friday night at the Moda Center.

It was the fourth straight victory for the Trail Blazers (17-3), who made 17 of 23 attempts from beyond the 3-point line to set an NBA record for percentage with at least 15 makes (73.9).

"A lot of luck," said Matthews, who was 4 for 6 on 3-point shots. "We were feeling it, apparently."

Portland shot .554 from the field, making 15 of 21 shots in both the first and third quarters.

Leading 67-56 at halftime, Portland outscored Utah (4-17) 40-13 in the third quarter to put the game on ice.

"We shot the ball really well at the start, but we had to pick it up at the defensive end of the floor," said Lillard, who was 7-for-9 from the field, including 5-for-6 from 3-point territory. "That was the emphasis at halftime. The game changed when we started to defend in the third quarter."

None of the Portland starters played in the fourth quarter. The Blazers' lead was 42 points before Utah scored the final 10 points of the game.

Guard Alec Burks came off the bench to score 16 points for the Jazz.

Portland scored the first 10 points of the third quarter to go on top 77-56. The Blazers hit the 100-point mark on Matthews' 3-pointer with 1:31 left in the quarter. By that time, it was 102-65 and soon thereafter, Portland coach Terry Stotts emptied his bench.

"It snowballed on us," said Utah's Gordon Hayward, who scored 10 points. "We fought our way back and got (the deficit) to single digits in the second quarter. Then (in the third quarter the Blazers) turned it up to 20 or 25 like immediately. They shot at a ridiculous clip from 3-point range. It's pretty disappointing."

Lillard was 7-for-9 from the field -- 5-for-6 on 3-point attempts -- in the first half as Portland carried a 67-56 advantage into the break.

The 2012-13 NBA Rookie of the Year scored 10 of the first 14 points for the Blazers, who jumped to a 22-10 lead midway through the first quarter. They extended the advantage to 39-22 when Lillard banked in a 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded to end the period. The Blazers made 15 of 21 shots from the field through the game's first 12 minutes.

Portland's edge increased to 45-25 early in the second quarter. The Jazz cut the margin to 48-40 with seven minutes left in the quarter, but the Blazers upped the margin to 11 at intermission.

"Our 3-point shooters are good," Stotts said. "You don't expect to shoot that well, but our 3's are taken in rhythm. They're good shots for the guys taking them. When those guys are taking open 3's, there's a good chance they're going in."

NOTES: Portland set a franchise record with its 17, 3-point field goals (the previous record was 16 set four times). ... The Blazers had their highest-scoring first quarter and first half of the season. The 67 points were the most they have scored in any half. ... The Blazers have won at least 17 of their first 20 games for the third time in franchise history (19 in 1990-91, 17 in 1977-78). ... G Damian Lillard made at least two 3-pointers in an NBA-high 18 games and is the first Blazer to make multiple 3-pointers in 12 straight games since Damon Stoudamire in 2005. ... F LaMarcus Aldridge got his 10th double-double and became the first player with 450 points, 200 rebounds and 25 steals in his team's first 20 games since Boston's Kevin Garnett and Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki did it in 2004-05. ... The Jazz were without F Marvin Williams, who will miss his second straight game with a heel injury. He is listed as day-to-day.

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