Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 12/10

Game 1: Friday, December 10th
Trail Blazers87Final
Game 2: Sunday, December 12th
Trail Blazers98
Game 3: Tuesday, April 5th
Trail Blazers79Final
Game 4: Sunday, April 17th
Trail Blazers100

Trail Blazers 79

(24-49, 8-29 away)

Jazz 90

(23-50, 16-22 home)

    Coverage: FSRM

    7:00 PM ET, April 5, 2005

    EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, UT

    1 2 3 4 T
    POR 21 19 10 2979
    UTAH 16 30 21 2390

    Top Performers

    Por: J. Przybilla 13 Pts, 9 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 7 Blk

    UTAH: M. Harpring 17 Pts, 7 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl

    Portland handed 10th straight road loss

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Portland and Utah used to be a matchup of perennial playoff teams.

    This season, the Trail Blazers and Jazz are just hoping finish ahead of anybody.

    The Jazz beat the struggling Blazers 90-79 Tuesday night, ending a three-game losing streak and drawing within a game of Portland in the Northwest Division. And not even better odds in the NBA draft lottery are worth being labeled a last-place team.

    "The games are important," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. "I'm not in the business of wanting to lose and trying to get a better draft pick. I really don't care about the draft pick."

    Matt Harpring had 17 points and seven rebounds, and reserves Ben Handlogten and Kris Humphries scored 11 each for the Jazz, who held off the short-handed Blazers.

    Portland brought just nine players on the one-game road trip because of injuries, but still trimmed a 23-point lead to single digits in the final minute to give the Jazz a scare.

    "It was an ugly win," Harpring said.

    Joel Przybilla had 13 points, nine rebounds and seven blocks for Portland, but his point total tied for the team high. Shareef Abdur-Rahim, who leads Portland with a 17-point scoring average, finished with just six points in 30 minutes.

    The Blazers lost their fifth in a row and are just 2-16 since Kevin Pritchard took over as interim coach after Maurice Cheeks was fired. The loss was their 10th straight on the road.

    Przybilla and Sebastian Telfair were the only Portland starters to play in the fourth quarter.

    "To me it was about energy," Pritchard said. "I can live with losses because at times it's more important for us to look long term and try to get better every day. But when we don't have energy and effort, that's my fault because I'm not getting it out of them. And I'm going to find a way to get it out of them."

    Utah took advantage of Portland's lack of depth and experience by holding the Blazers to just 10 points in the third quarter while taking a 17-point lead. Utah pushed the lead to 23 in the fourth quarter, then let it fall to single digits in the last 2 minutes before pulling away again.

    "They're playing harder, but they have to learn to play even harder," Sloan said. "This is not a casual business. When we play casual you see how ineffective we are."

    That was apparent in the fourth quarter, but against such a short-handed lineup for Portland it didn't end up costing Utah this time.

    Darius Miles, third for the Blazers in scoring at 12.4 points per game, didn't dress for the second straight game because of a sore left shoulder. Derek Anderson (back spasms) and Theo Ratliff (shoulder) also didn't make the trip, leaving Portland with just four reserves.

    Travis Outlaw and Telfair scored apiece 13 for Portland, but Telfair had just two points in the second half and the Blazers couldn't make up for 19 turnovers.

    The two teams had 41 straight years of playoff appearances between them until both streaks ended last season, and both are in danger of finishing with the worst record in the Western Conference this time.

    "It's hard when you try to gout out there and play well every night and your season's just went down a hill from the beginning," said Ruben Patterson, who was fighting the flu and had just two points for Portland.

    Utah led 46-40 at halftime, then opened the third quarter with a 15-3 surge. Gordan Giricek scored all nine of his points in the third quarter and the Jazz held the Blazers to 4-for-15 shooting.

    Richie Frahm hit a 3-pointer to cut it to 84-75 with 1:34 left to play, but Howard Eisley responded with a layup and the Jazz held on to improve to 2-1 against Portland this season.

    Game notes

    Portland hasn't beaten a Western Conference team on the road since opening the season with a 78-75 victory at Golden State -- a streak of 21 in a row. ... The Jazz (23-50) and Blazers (24-49) play again in Portland on April 17. ... Mehmet Okur added 11 points and six rebounds for Utah. ... Damon Stoudamire finished with 11 points for Portland.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 79 90
    FGM-FGA 31-68 (.456) 40-86 (.465)
    3PM-3PA 6-14 (.429) 1-3 (.333)
    FTM-FTA 11-19 (.579) 9-17 (.529)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 8-37 14-39
    Assists 19 23
    Turnovers 20 11
    Steals 4 4
    Blocks 10 2
    Fast Break Points 13 5
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 24 (1/0) 18 (2/0)
    Largest Lead 10 23

    Top Performers

    Joel Przybilla Przybilla
    Points: 13
    Reb: 9
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 7
    Matt Harpring Harpring
    Points: 17
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0