Sports Commentator Patrick Blake is host of the Blake’s Take show, airing weekdays from 5-6 p.m. on KZNU Sports Radio Southern Utah Sports Network – 96.7 FM 1450 AM – with live stream online at http://www.KZNUsports.com. Reporting from live TV broadcast.
ST. GEORGE – The Utah Jazz went into Portland a half game out of eighth place and just under the “red line.” The red line is the line that separates teams that are in the playoffs from the teams that are not in the playoffs, so the top eight teams in the conference are above the line, the rest are below the line.
The Jazz knew they had a great chance to move above the line as long as they took care of business last night.
Take care of business they did, beating the Portland Trail Blazers 112-91.
The Jazz never trailed and used a huge second-quarter run to break the game open. The Jazz only led by 3 after the first quarter but went on a 31-16 run in the second quarter, to take an 18-point halftime lead.
Devin Harris led the way for the Jazz, making six 3-pointers in the first half and scoring 25 first-half points. Harris finished the game with 27 points, but was very limited in the second half.
Gordon Hayward continued his great play, scoring 23 points for the Jazz on just 8-11 shooting. Al Jefferson pulled in his 29th double-double of the season with 11 points and 1o rebounds.
The other Jazz starters showed a little fatigue from the three-overtime game April 16. Paul Millsap and DeMarre Carroll each played 25 minutes, in a game the Jazz had a chance to rest some key players. Millsap helped out with 6 points while Carroll chipped in 8.
Alec Burks and Enes Kanter finally got some much deserved time. Burks threw in 17 points while grabbing five rebounds and dishing out five assists. Kanter helped out with 10 points.
The Jazz needed some help to move above the red line; and with Phoenix and Houston playing very tough games it looked good for the Jazz.
Houston lost to Dallas and Phoenix lost to Oklahoma City. Houston has lost five straight games and has fallen from sixth to tenth place over the last few weeks. Phoenix does have the tie breaker over the Jazz if the two teams end with the same record.
The Jazz will play host to Phoenix on Tuesday.
TEAM NAME RECORD GAMES BACK
8. Utah 33-30 0
9. Phoenix 32-30 ½
10. Houston 32-30 ½
The Jazz will be the host to the Orlando Magic on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. The Magic are without their best player, Dwight Howard.
On Tuesday, the Jazz will be host to the Phoenix Suns. The Suns and the Jazz could be playing an elimination game.
The Jazz wrap up the regular season next Thursday, April 26, against the Blazers.
For more JAZZ talk, tune into Blake’s Take weekdays from 5-6 p.m. on KZNU Sports Radio – 93.1 FM 1450 AM – or online streaming live on KZNU Sports website: www.kznusports.com
Twitter Hashtag: #UTAHJAZZ
Copyright 2012 St. George News.