Fri, 03 Feb 2023

Anfernee Simons' career-high 45 points lift Blazers over Jazz

Field Level Media
04 Dec 2022, 14:55 GMT+10

Anfernee Simons recorded a career-high 45 points and Jerami Grant scored 33 as the Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Utah Jazz 116-111 Saturday night in Salt Lake City.

Simons and Grant hit key free throws in the waning moments, and the Jazz committed four costly turnovers in the final minute to help Portland pick up the win after blowing an early 15-point lead. Jusuf Nurkic contributed 15 points and 14 rebounds.

Jordan Clarkson had a chance to tie the game, but the ball was knocked out of his hands and went off his foot with 4.6 seconds remaining. Grant sealed the win at the free-throw line, where he scored four points in the last 6.4 seconds.

Clarkson finished with 24 points, Lauri Markkanen scored 21 with six rebounds and Collin Sexton added 19 points, but Utah dropped to 2-2 on its current six-game homestand.

Despite giving up its big lead, Portland responded to Utah every time the home team made a push in the final minutes.

Grant split a pair of free throws to put the Blazers ahead 110-109 with 2:02 to go. Kelly Olynyk, who had 15 points and nine rebounds, put the Jazz up again by one with a jumper.

Markkanen blocked a shot but then turned the ball over. Simons answered with two free throws with 29.2 seconds to go.

Markkanen had another turnover as the ball slipped out of his hands, and Grant gave the Blazers a 114-111 edge with two foul shots with 6.4 seconds left.

Simons was the big story of the first half. He scored 23 points in the first quarter, leading the Blazers to a 40-31 lead. He added another 10 in the second quarter, as Portland built a 15-point advantage.

Markkanen tied the score at 79-79 with a 3-pointer. Utah used an 11-4 push to go ahead 85-81 after a Clarkson floater, but the Blazers took a two-point lead into the final period.

Portland steadily increased its lead back to six, but Sexton scored five straight to make it a one-point game again. Clarkson then tied it at 109-109 with a 3-pointer to set up the wild finish.

--Field Level Media

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