The Utah Jazz refused to go away quietly, but Damian Lillard's deliberately missed free throw with 0.4 seconds left sealed a 103-102 victory for the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday night in Portland.
The Jazz trailed by as many as nine points in the fourth quarter, but clutch three-pointers from Gordon Hayward, Joe Ingles and Trey Burke kept the game in doubt. The Jazz sent Lillard to the free-throw line in the final second after Burke's triple, but after missing his first free throw, Lillard intentionally lobbed the second off the side of the rim, forcing the Jazz to rebound and the clock to run out.
The Jazz led 47-44 at halftime, but a string of fouls and turnovers early in the third quarter allowed the Blazers to open up a 62-51 lead. Utah then scored 11 straight points, led by Derrick Favors, and the Jazz led briefly in the fourth quarter before three-pointers from Wesley Matthews pushed the Blazers ahead.
Gordon Hayward led all scorers with 27 points along with five rebounds and five assists. Lillard led the Blazers with 25 points and LaMarcus Aldridge added 22.
More on this one in tomorrow's Downbeat.