Roy powers Blazers to blowout win over JazzFeb 1, 2009 - 6:33 AM By Daniel Cochran PA SportsTicker Conributing Writer
PORTLAND, Oregon (Ticker) -- After his second All-Star selection in as many years, Brandon Roy showed his appreciation for the coaches' selection.
On the strength of a 30-point performance from Roy, the Portland Trail Blazers crushed the Utah Jazz on Saturday night, 122-108, in a pivotal Northwest Division clash.
"I don't have a problem staying humble," Roy said. "This is about this team tonight, about getting separation and trying to play well."
The Blazers started the game off in a hurry, forcing three consecutive steals, followed by back-to-back corner 3-pointers from Roy and rookie Nicolas Batum to give Portland an 18-9 edge. The Blazers never surrendered their lead.
"I was happy we controlled the game from the tip," Roy said. "We were the more physical team."
Batum, who has been silent much of the season, had one of his best games of the campaign, scoring 16 points while sinking 4-of-5 from the arc.
"I thought we were as efficient as we could be," Blazers head coach Nate McMillan said. "We have to learn how to play this kind of game against teams like Utah - playoff-type teams in our division."
Portland's lead increased to as many as 14 in the second quarter, before a Deron Williams-led comeback narrowed the deficit to 52-47 by the break. Williams was dominant for most of the night, going 12-of-18 and finishing with a season-high 35 points.
But Roy took the game into his hands in the second half, leading a 21-11 run in the third quarter to put the Blazers up by 20. To end the period, Sergio Rodriguez connected with a buzzer-beater alley-oop to fellow Spaniard Rudy Fernandez. The two have hooked up several times this season and have come to be known as the "Spanish Armada" in Portland.
Fernandez scored 13 points on the night and Rodriguez added nine and seven assists.
Meanwhile, the Jazz's road struggles continued. They dropped to just 8-16 away from Salt Lake City this season - the worst among all NBA teams with records of .500 or better. They won just once on the road in January while slipping out of the top eight in the Western Conference.
They also haven't won in the Rose Garden in nearly three years, dating to April 2006. One of the main problems, particularly over the last six weeks or so, has been the first quarter.
The Jazz repeatedly get off to slow starts, falling behind by double digits early. With their depth depleted by the injuries to forwards Carlos Boozer and Andrei Kirilenko, it has become increasingly difficult for the team's bench to play catch-up.
On the road against a tough Blazers team on Saturday, their recent trend was true to form. Portland hit four 3-pointers in the first 4:19 and took a 20-10 lead midway through the opening quarter.
"We keep starting games soft, and it can't happen on the road, a team with confidence like that it's tough to top them," Williams said. "We tried everything. ... It wasn't effective."
Joel Pryzbilla took advantage of some extra playing time, netting 14 points while bringing in 17 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season.
"Whenever coach asks for me I'll be ready," Pryzbilla said of his increased playing time. "We did what we needed to do tonight."
Portland outrebounded Utah, 35-27, capitalizing on the absence of Kirilenko, who had surgery on his ankle Friday night and will be out for three to four weeks.
"They took advantage of us and played smart basketball," Utah head coach Jerry Sloan said. "Deron had to carry as much as he could tonight, but we couldn't get anything else."
Greg Oden, who was in foul trouble much of the game, had a quiet night, scoring just five points. The rookie center played 11 minutes before head coach Nate McMillan pulled him following his fifth foul.
Portland (29-17) moved into a tie for fourth place with in the Western Conference with the New Orleans Hornets (28-16), and the two teams will meet Monday night in New Orleans. LaMarcus Aldridge added 14 points for the Blazers, but shot just 5-of-15 from the field.
PORTLAND 122 FINAL
Feb 1 12:28 AM
PORTLAND 90 END, 3RD QTR
Jan 31 11:52 PM
PORTLAND 52 HALFTIME
Jan 31 11:08 PM
PORTLAND 33 END, 1ST QTR
Jan 31 10:38 PM
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