By Matthew Zimmer
The Portland Trail Blazers have completely flipped the script in the last 10 games. After losing five straight — four at home — the Blazers have won nine of 10 and five straight including on Wednesday at Utah, 105-98.
Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkić were phenomenal again, and the Jazz were equally awful at shooting three point shots.
Lillard hit 30 points for the sixth straight game — his 34th 30-point game this season. He also had six assists and two rebounds.
McCollum did what he does best: keep the Blazers going with Dame on the bench, and better yet score when Lillard goes cold. The Blazers shooting guard finished with 26 points, four assists and four boards.
Nurk continues to show what it means when he’s healthy, and boy does Portland need it. The Bosnian Beast finished with another double-double, his third during the win streak, 11 points and 15 boards. Nurkić also added six assists, three steals and three blocks.
Remember I said the Jazz shot horribly from deep? Utah missed 28 three-point field goals (12-for-40).
Off the bench, Carmelo Anthony added some welcomed scoring with 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting (4/5 from deep).
Portland (41-29) still owns the No. 5 seed. Dallas also won on Wednesday night, but the Blazers hold the head-to-head tiebreaker.
If the Lakers lose to Houston on Wednesday, Portland and Dallas would clinch spots in the playoffs and avoid the NBA Play-In Tournament.
As for Utah (50-20), they were without Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley. Jordan Clarkson led the Jazz with 29 points off the bench.
Up next, Portland travels immediately to Phoenix for the second game of a back-to-back. Blazers-Suns tips off Thursday Night at 7 p.m. PT on TNT.
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