for this game

Jack helps Trail Blazers outlast SuperSonics

Feb 22, 2008 - 8:06 AM By Kasey Postlewaite PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

PORTLAND, Oregon (Ticker) -- Jarrett Jack made sure the Portland Trail Blazers ended their losing streak.

Jack scored 10 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter as the Trail Blazers posted a 92-88 victory over the Seattle SuperSonics on Thursday night.

Brandon Roy scored 19 points and grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds while Travis Outlaw added 19 points for the Trail Blazers, who halted a five-game losing streak by picking up just their third win this month.

"Jarrett stepped up big time," Outlaw said. "We had everyone come in and step up for us. We really needed this win after losing five straight. I think we need to go in (to Seattle on Friday) and play with a level head and the right way. Let's see if we can get it going again."

Rookie Kevin Durant scored 20 points for the Sonics, who parted with forward Wally Szczerbiak and guard Delonte West just before Thursday's trade deadline in a three-team deal.

In return, Seattle received forward Donyell Marshall and Ira Newble from Cleveland and forward Adrian Griffin from Chicago.

"Regardless of what happens with teammates getting traded, we still have a job to do and have to go out there and play," said Seattle's Nick Collison, who posted his 12th double-double of the season with 11 points and 14 rebounds. "I think everybody looks at it this way, but there wasn't a conscious effort to step up."

In addition, Seattle received no help from big men Chris Wilcox, who had two points and four fouls after three quarters and played just three minutes in the fourth, and Robert Swift, who suffered a knee strain after playing just four minutes.

Despite the short bench, the Sonics narrowed a 61-47 deficit to just five points in the third quarter after Durant hit a 3-pointer - his first field goal since the opening period - with 3:20 left in the session.

The three-time rookie of the month converted another layup to make it 69-66, and the quarter finished with Portland clinging to a 70-67 lead before Jack took over in the fourth.

"I think everyone tried to be aggressive and played hard," Durant said. "I think we just put them at the line a little too much. We play them again (Friday) night, so we'll see if we can't do something about that."

Jack scored eight points in the first six minutes of the final quarter and gave the Blazers an 85-78 advantage with a long jumper from the top of the key.

"My teammates were starting to tell me to be aggressive with the ball, so when it came to me, I was ready," Jack said.

"One of the reasons I had Jack in the rotation is, he is one of our most aggressive guards," Blazers coach Nate McMillan said. "He's a guy who can get in the lane and get to the basket and the foul line."

However, Portland failed to hit a shot from the field over the final 6:15 as the Sonics narrowed the deficit to 87-84 with 1:39 left to play.

"I think when we got the lead, we played just to keep it and not try to add to it," said Roy, who was battling the flu for the second straight game. "It wasn't a great finish, or even a smooth finish, but at the same time, we will take it."

Damien Wilkins missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer and Outlaw nailed a pair of free throws on the other end to extend the Blazers' lead to five.

The Sonics did not go quietly, though, as Collison's layup with 30 seconds left cut the deficit to 89-86.

After a timeout by Portland, Seattle made a poor defensive play as a double-team on Jack left LaMarcus Aldridge wide open in the lane. Aldridge was fouled while attempting the dunk and made both free throws.

"I'm really pleased that Travis and LaMarcus got to the foul line by taking the ball to the basket," McMillan said.

Wilkins converted a dunk on the ensuing possession, but Jack sealed the victory with a pair of free throws in the closing seconds.