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Portland, Ore. •
The Utah Jazz weren’t the only team without an All-Star big man Friday night in Portland. But the absence of LaMarcus Aldridge didn’t much slow the Portland Trail Blazers through the first half.
The Jazz find themselves on the verge of their 10th-straight road loss. They trail the Blazers 52-42 at halftime.
Al Jefferson leads the Jazz with 16 points, but the Blazers closed the first half on a 12-2 run after the Jazz tied the game at 40 on a Jefferson shot with 4:41 left in the half.
Aldridge sat out after spraining his wrist Wednesday against Brooklyn. Former Weber State guard Damian Lillard scored 7 points and tallied 7 assists in 20 minutes.
Entering Friday, the Jazz trailed the Los Angeles Lakers by ½ a game for eighth in the Western Conference. With nine games remaining the Jazz must finish tied or ahead with the Lakers to make the playoffs.
Second-year Jazz center Enes Kanter did not travel with the Jazz to Portland due a dislocated left shoulder.