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Blazers use balanced attack to beat Jazz

Apr 8, 2011 - 6:15 AM Salt Lake City, UT (Sports Network) - Gerald Wallace scored 29 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead a balanced attack the Portland Trail Blazers used to beat the Utah Jazz, 98-87.

Nicolas Batum added 21 points and Wesley Matthews totaled 18 for the Blazers, who rebounded from Tuesday's loss to Golden State and are battling for playoff seeding.

Portland currently sits in sixth place in the Western Conference, a half-game ahead of idle New Orleans.

'I thought tonight our guys came out and played," Blazers head coach Nate McMillan said. "You know, we got a little sloppy there for a minute but made some plays. I thought Nick [Batum] brought some offense, [LaMarcus Aldridge] established himself in the paint, and Brandon [Roy] gave us some scoring in that first half."

Devin Harris had 26 points to lead Utah, which was coming off Tuesday's victory against the Lakers. That win snapped an eight-game slide.

Portland took control in the first quarter, when it made 11 shots, the last of which was Wallace's layup with 40.7 seconds left. The bucket gave the Blazers a 10-point lead, and they were up 27-18 heading into the second.

Though Portland didn't turn the game into a blowout over the final three quarters, it led the rest of the way.

The Jazz were within one possession multiple times in the second quarter, but the Blazers scored six of the half's final eight points and carried a 49-42 advantage into the break.

Portland used an 11-0 run near the end of the third quarter to achieve a game- high lead of 15. However, Harris closed the frame with a three-pointer to get Utah within 79-67.

But the Jazz didn't threaten Portland's lead in a fourth quarter that got off to an extremely slow start. There were only two points scored for almost five minutes -- Kyle Weaver's free throws about 90 seconds in.

Wallace scored 14 of his points in the final period, hitting 3-of-4 from three-point range, to help the Blazers secure the win.

"Execution. I thought when the Lakers made a run we responded real well," Harris said. "Tonight we didn't really do that. I thought defensively we were solid but the difference was we kept them (Lakers) off the boards especially with the length the Lakers have. We kept those guys to one shot and we were executing on the other end."

Game Notes

LaMarcus Aldridge had 12 points and 11 rebounds for Portland, while Andre Miller had 12 assists...Paul Millsap ended with 19 points and 10 boards for Utah...The Blazers took three of four from the Jazz this season, the first time they won the series since 2007-08.