The Utah Jazz pipped the Portland Trail Blazers 117-114 on Friday in Salt Lake City as Donovan Mitchell's layup with 19.5 seconds on the clock broke the tie and took the Jazz home.
Jazz's five-game losing streak came to an end with Bojan Bogdanovic scoring 27 points to help them stumble past the Trailblazers. A valiant 42-point effort by Damian Lillard failed to see Portland through. This was only the third loss for Trail Blazers in nine games.
Mitchell layup saves the day
Mitchell's layup gave Utah a 116-114 lead. Lillard then drove in an attempt to tie the score, and his shot hit the glass and was on its way into the basket before Utah's Rudy Gobert tipped it away, but goaltending wasn't called.
The Trail Blazers fouled Bogdanovic with nine seconds left, and he split two free throws to make it a three-point game. Portland's Caleb Swanigan missed a corner 3-point attempt from the right wing as time expired, and a vehemently upset Lillard had to be restrained by assistant coaches before leaving the court.
Mike Conley added 18 points and Mitchell scored 16 for Utah. Gobert recorded 16 points and 14 rebounds, Joe Ingles scored 14 points and Jordan Clarkson added 13. Lillard was 8 of 14 from 3-point range while recording his sixth 40-point effort in nine games. CJ McCollum scored 27 points, Gary Trent Jr. added 16 and Mario Hezonja tallied 11.
Injury-ridden Whiteside and Little miss game
Portland played the final 34-plus minutes with just seven players after guard Anfernee Simons departed with a concussion and forward Trevor Ariza was ejected. The Trail Blazers were already without center Hassan Whiteside (leg) and forward Nassir Little (ankle).
The Trail Blazers shot 45.4 percent from the field and were 17 of 40 (42.5 percent) from 3-point range. Utah shot 49.5 percent from the floor, including 10 of 30 from behind the arc, and they held a 56-43 rebounding edge. The Jazz rattled off nine consecutive points to take a 103-96 lead on Gobert's tip with 6:34 remaining.
Utah holds on in the final quarter
A short time later, Lillard converted a layup and McCollum drained a 3-pointer to pull Portland within 109-107 with 2:28 left. Royce O'Neale buried a corner 3-pointer to push Utah's lead back to five with 1:44 to go.
However, Swanigan hit a jumper and Lillard knocked down his eighth 3-pointer to knot the score at 112 with 1:12 remaining. Lillard scored 27 points on 10-of-13 shooting in the first half as Portland built a 72-58 lead. Carmelo Anthony scored his first points to start the second half to give the Trail Blazers their biggest lead at 16. But Utah cut into the deficit before Portland took an 89-88 edge into the final quarter.
(With inputs from agencies)