Salt Lake City, UT (SportsNetwork.com) - Wesley Matthews poured in 21 points to help the Portland Trail Blazers to a 111-99 victory over the Utah Jazz on Friday.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 18 points and 14 rebounds and Damian Lillard added 16 points and six assists for Portland, which has won seven of eight. Nicolas Batum tallied 15 points, seven boards and seven helpers and Robin Lopez contributed 12 points and eight rebounds.
"I like our team, I think we're coming together at the right time," said Blazers head coach Terry Stotts. "We've won seven out of eight. Defensively we've been locked in. I think our offense is starting to come around again. We're all looking forward to the playoffs."
Portland now trails the Houston Rockets by a half-game for the fourth playoff seed in the Western Conference.
Derrick Favors scored 21 and had eight rebounds and Alec Burks scored 16 and grabbed six boards for the Jazz, who have lost 19 of 22. Enes Kanter totaled 15 points and 13 rebounds and Trey Burke and Gordon Hayward scored 14 points apiece in defeat.
"I think, overall, their whole team did a good job continuing to execute," said Burke. "We made some mental errors that we couldn't afford to make."
The Jazz held a 79-77 lead one minute into the fourth before Portland went on a 21-6 tear. Matthews' alley-oop put the Blazers ahead, 98-85, with 4:47 left to play, and the Jazz came as close as nine the rest of the way.
Earlier, the Jazz led by eight with 9 1/2 left in the first half before an 11-2 surge put Portland ahead, 37-36, with 5:45 on the clock. There were four lead changes through the rest of the half and the Trail Blazers led by as many as four, however, Utah came back to take a 53-51 lead at the break.
In the first quarter there were two lead changes and five ties, with neither team leading by more than eight. Utah closed out the quarter with a 12-4 run and carried a 31-23 lead into the second period.
Portland completed its first ever season series sweep of the Jazz ... The Trail Blazers are now 34-7 against teams that have sub .500 records ... Utah fell to 1-30 when facing western conference foes and scoring less than 100 points ... Portland is now 27-4 when they hold opponents under 100 points.