Jazz beat Blazers 118-113 to take Western Conference lead

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Jordan Clarkson scored 28 points, including eight straight in the final 1:48, in the Utah Jazz's 118-113 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night.

Malik Beasley had 29 points off the bench to help Utah take the Western Conference lead at 12-6.

Anfernee Simons led Portland with 23 points.

Both teams lost their starting point guards in the second half.

After colliding into a screen, Utah’s Mike Conley left with a left knee injury with 10:22 left in the third quarter.

Not long after Conley exited, Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard went to the locker room and did not return because of tightness in his right calf. Lillard has missed five games so far this season with the calf strain.


During an injury timeout in the second quarter, a pair of fans were removed from the game. Utah’s Collin Sexton pointed the fan out to security after exchanging words with him. Security then came to escort the fans out of the arena.


Portland rookie Shaedon Sharpe has turned heads with highlight plays over his first 14 games. After not playing in any games during his one season at Kentucky, Sharpe is averaging 10 points and shooting 51% from the 3-point line. But he still has plenty of room to grow.

“There’s so much being thrown at him in a short period of time,” Blazers coach Chauncey Billups said. “He has to continue to learn. That’s all. What we are trying to do and actually why. He’s having these unbelievable moments. The faster he can speed up with those things it’s better for all of us.”

His growth has caught the eye of their opponents too.

“Being a young player in the NBA is really hard so I don’t over analyze any one thing he does or doesn’t do or one game. But the progress he’s made since we played them earlier in the preseason, the sky’s the limit,” Jazz coach Will Hardy said about Sharpe.


Jazz: Host Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night.

Trail Blazers: At Milwaukee on Monday night.


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Erik García Gundersen, The Associated Press