SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Damian Lillard scored 22 points and Mo Williams came off the bench to add 17 to help the Portland Trail Blazers rally from a 12-point second-half deficit for a 99-92 victory over the Utah Jazz in a preseason game Wednesday night.
LaMarcus Aldridge added 16 points for the Blazers (2-2) and Robin Lopez had 13 points and 13 rebounds. Both of the team’s preseason victories have come against Utah.
Enes Kanter scored 23 points and Gordon Hayward added 20 to lead the Jazz (1-3), who have lost three straight.
The Blazers outrebounded the Jazz 57-43. Utah also struggled to find consistency on offense against Portland’s defense. The Jazz shot 31 of 80 from the field (38.8 percent) and had only two players shoot better than 50 percent from the floor.
Kanter turned the first quarter into a personal layup drill. He made eight straight baskets in the quarter before missing a shot. Kanter’s 16 first-quarter points helped shore up a sagging offensive effort from the rest of Utah’s starters.
It helped the Jazz keep pace with Portland even after the Blazers jumped out to a 16-11 lead behind three early baskets from Aldridge. The Jazz rallied and finally took a 27-24 lead when Hayward converted a fast-break layup and a free throw in the final second of the first quarter.
Portland went back ahead 37-32 in the second quarter on Aldridge’s shooting. Utah overtook the Blazers again when Lester Hudson made back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Jazz a one-point lead. Hayward followed up with a pair of baskets and three free throws during the final two minutes of the quarter to give Utah a 49-41 halftime lead.
The Jazz carved out their largest lead at 64-52 on back-to-back jumpers from Richard Jefferson and Derrick Favors midway through the third quarter. That’s when things began to unravel.
Lillard and Williams took turns making plays to rally the Blazers. Lillard put Portland ahead 71-70 on a driving layup with 1:00 left in the third quarter. Williams put the Blazers ahead for good by closing the third quarter with a long jumper and opening the fourth quarter with a layup.
Utah rallied at different points in the fourth quarter, getting to 91-89 on Favors’ layup with 2:58 left. But the Blazers pulled away by holding the Jazz without another field goal until Favors scored with 20 seconds left.