Miles scores 17 to lead Jazz over Blazers 92-89
SALT LAKE CITY – C.J. Miles scored 17 points, including a pair of free throws with 2.2 seconds left, to help the Utah Jazz hold on for a 92-89 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night.
Al Jefferson added 15 points and nine rebounds for the Jazz, who avenged a 20-point loss in Portland on Monday.
Raymond Felton led the Trail Blazers with 17 points, and LaMarcus Aldridge added 15 points and 11 rebounds.
Second-year pro Derrick Favors, who had 25 points and 12 rebounds Monday, started for Utah and scored just seven points because of early foul trouble.
Both teams were without starters. Portland's Marcus Camby sat out pending an MRI on his left knee — Blazers coach Nate McMillan didn't believe the injury was serious — and Paul Millsap missed his second straight game for Utah because of right quad tendinitis.
Aldridge started for Portland after missing the start of training camp to receive treatment for Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome, a condition which causes the ventricles of the heart to prematurely contract. He showed some signs of rust, making just 5 of 17 shots
The Jazz came out with much more energy than they did in Monday's 110-90 loss in Portland, but the aggressiveness put them in early foul trouble. Gordon Hayward picked up his third less than halfway through the first quarter, Favors had his third just a minute later and Raja Bell had three with 4 minutes remaining.
The Jazz took their first lead on a three-point play by Jeremy Evans off a pass from Jamaal Tinsley. Josh Howard then scored on a driving layup on an assist from Miles to push Utah's lead to 38-37.
The points were the first for Howard, a free-agent signed last week. He finished with eight.
Utah's reserves kept the Jazz close early. Miles had seven points in the first quarter, while Mehmet Okur added five.
Utah led 53-47 at halftime, with its bench contributing 36 points. Miles led all scorers at halftime with 15.
Utah led by 11 in the fourth quarter before Jamal Crawford and Wesley Matthews brought the Blazers back, but a late turnover ruined the comeback.