NBA Basketball

Jazz dump Blazers, end three-game skid

(TSX / STATS) -- SALT LAKE CITY -- Just before the opening tip, Gordon Hayward got to enjoy a sneak peek at his first NBA All-Star jersey. Then Hayward went out during the third quarter and showed exactly why he earned a selection in the first place.

Hayward dominated during the quarter and turned the tide in Utah's favor for good. He finished with 22 points, seven assists and six rebounds to power the Jazz to a 111-88 win over Portland on Wednesday night. He had 13 points, three assists and three rebounds during that third quarter.

Hayward had a pivotal stretch over four possessions where he drained a 3-pointer, fed Rudy Gobert to set up a floater and George Hill to set up a layup and buried a pull-up jumper following a steal by Dante Exum. It capped a decisive 18-2 run that gave Utah a 60-45 lead with 5:59 remaining in the third quarter.

"I found a rhythm, got some easy ones," Hayward said. "It was nice to hit the three at the top of the key to get me going. Once I saw it go in, I got a little bit of rhythm."

Hill added 19 points and Joe Ingles chipped in 18 for the Jazz (35-22). Utah shot 11 of 22 from 3-point range, allowing the Jazz to blow the game wide open in the second half.

CJ McCollum scored 18 points and Damian Lillard had 13 to lead the Blazers. Lillard was held to 3-of-19 shooting from the field, and Portland (23-33) sputtered with its floor leader out of sync.

"I just could never get it going," Lillard said. "I felt like even when I got looks that I know I should make, it felt like the ball was rolling around the rim and rattling in and out. I just could never get it going. Some of them I felt like I should have made and some you got to give credit to their defense too."

Jusuf Nurkic finished with 13 points and seven rebounds in his Blazers debut. Nurkic made all five of his shots and showcased some promising passing skills in the post.

Portland acquired the 7-foot center and a 2017 first-round pick on Jan. 29 in exchange for Mason Plumlee, a 2018 second-round pick and cash considerations.

"I thought what you saw tonight is the player we traded for," Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. "He did a little bit of everything."

Portland opened up the game missing 11 of 14 shots, allowing the Jazz to go on a 12-0 run and take an early 18-8 lead. Ingles capped the run in style with a steal and layup.

Utah took its turn going cold after the initial spurt. The Jazz missed 11 consecutive shots over a six-minute stretch extending into the second quarter, allowing the Blazers to creep back into the game. Portland cut Utah's lead to 18-17 on a put-back layup from Nurkic before Joe Johnson finally broke the Jazz's drought with a turnaround jumper.

Utah reclaimed a double-digit lead later in the quarter behind a 13-1 run. Ingles got things going with a corner 3-pointer, and Hill capped it with a slashing layup and free throw, giving the Jazz a 40-26 lead with 2:42 remaining before halftime.

"We had to defend and you just have to be mentally tough and keep grinding and keep working and hope that you're eventually able to see the ball go in on the other end," Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. "Eventually it did, obviously."

Portland answered with a 15-0 run, highlighted by back-to-back baskets from McCollum, extending into the third quarter. The Blazers took a 41-40 lead when Maurice Harkness converted a three-point play to finish off the run.

Utah surged back in front behind back-to-back 3-pointers from Ingles and Hill. Hayward propelled the Jazz further ahead with his third-quarter play. He passed Deron Williams for 8th place on Utah's all-time scoring list before the quarter ended.

After McCollum cut Utah's lead to 76-69 on a jumper, Ingles and Johnson rained down 3-pointers over three straight possessions to quell a potential Portland run. It marked the beginning of a 17-2 run -- culminating in a three-point play from Johnson -- that gave the Jazz a 93-71 lead with 5:50 remaining.

"We had a bad taste in our mouth and didn't want to go into the break losing four straight," Hayward said. "This is one we needed to have and I think we played like that a little bit tonight. We need to be able to play like that a little more often."

NOTES: Blazers F Al-Faroug Aminu missed the game due to a left knee sprain, and G/F Evan Turner missed his third straight game with a fractured right hand. ... Jazz F Gordon Hayward averaged 20.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists in four games against Portland last season. Utah went 1-3 in those games. ... Portland G Damian Lillard has made at least one 3-pointer in a career-high 36 consecutive games. It is the longest active streak in the NBA. ... Jazz C Rudy Gobert, who pulled down 12 boards, has tallied 49 games with 10-plus rebounds, the most in the NBA. Gobert also scored 13 points, giving him his 39th double-double this season. ... Blazers G CJ McCollum scored 25-plus points in a career-best eight straight games before the run ended Wednesday.

Updated February 16, 2017

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