- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 1, 2009

PORTLAND, ORE. (AP) - LaMarcus Aldridge scored 26 points, Brandon Roy had 25 points and 11 assists, and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Utah Jazz 125-104 on Tuesday night.

Portland shot 65 percent from the floor through three quarters and finished at 61.6 percent for the game, hitting 47 of 76 shots. Portland went 10-of-18 from 3-point range.

The Blazers (47-27) won their third consecutive game and gained outright possession of second place in the Northwest Division, 1 1/2 games behind first-place Denver. Utah, tied with Portland heading into the game, fell to 46-28.

Carlos Boozer, ejected midway during third quarter after a verbal altercation with Portland’s Joel Przybilla, led Utah with 20 points. Deron Williams scored 16.

Portland moved into sole possession of fifth place in the Western Conference with eight games remaining in the season, one game behind fourth-place Houston.

Six technical fouls were handed out during the third quarter. Boozer and Przybilla were ejected with 4:55 left in the quarter after receiving consecutive offsetting technicals. Two minutes later, Utah coach Jerry Sloan, outraged over a foul call, was tossed because of two technicals.

Aldridge hit 10 of 16 shots from the field, went 6-of-6 from the free throw line and grabbed five rebounds. Roy, whose assist total was a season high, hit 10 of 14 shots from the field. Six Blazers scored in double figures.

Portland got off to a quick start, at one point scoring on 10 consecutive possessions to take 32-13 lead eight minutes into the first quarter. Utah slowed down the Blazers, but still trailed 39-25 heading into the second quarter.

Boozer, who scored 16 first-half points, helped the Jazz close the gap to eight points midway through the second quarter. But Portland finished strong, scoring nine points during the final 2 1/2 minutes to lead 61-48 at halftime.

The Blazers started the second half much like they did the game, rolling to an 80-57 lead midway through the third quarter. The highlight was an 11-0 run, punctuated at the end with consecutive fast-break dunks by Aldridge. Utah never got closer than 19 points the rest of the game.

Notes:@ Portland guard Rudy Fernandez missed the game because of back spasms. He is averaging 10.4 points. … The Blazers are 16-2 in their last 18 home games. … Utah and Portland split their four-game season series. The Jazz holds the tiebreaker edge over Portland because of a superior conference record. … During the first half, Boozer was 8-of-9 and Roy 8-of-10. Roy had 10 assists by the end of three quarters.

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