Estimated read time: 4-5 minutes
SALT LAKE CITY -- The Portland Trail Blazers went unbeaten on their latest road trip. Sure, it was only one game. But the way the Blazers have played away from home, going 1-0 seemed monumental.
Martell Webster scored a career-high 25 points as the Blazers won for just the second time on the road this season, beating the Utah Jazz 97-89 on Tuesday night.
After starting the season 5-12, the Blazers have won four in a row.
Portland was without leading scorer LaMarcus Aldridge, who did not travel with the team because of a foot injury, but Webster and Jarrett Jack made a barrage of outside shots in the first half and the Blazers held off the Jazz down the stretch.
"The things that were causing us to lose early on were all easy, correctable mistakes," said Jack, who had 16 points. "I think we're cutting down on our mistakes and just giving ourselves more opportunities to make key plays."
Brandon Roy also scored 16 points for Portland, which is on its longest winning streak since winning five straight last December.
Carlos Boozer led Utah with 29 points and 13 rebounds and Paul Millsap scored 14 points for the Jazz, who have lost four straight.
Utah outrebounded Portland 50-37 and outscored the Blazers 48-20 in the paint, but gave up some easy outside shots and the Blazers capitalized while winning in Utah for the first time in nearly four years.
"We had to be scrappy. We had to be physical. We had to do all those things to win the game," Portland coach Nate McMillan said.
And they did it without Aldridge, who could miss a week or more with plantar faciitis, a painful foot condition that kept him from making the trip. The Blazers didn't seem to miss him much.
Travis Outlaw added 11 points, Channing Frye scored 10 and Joel Przybilla pulled down 10 of Portland's 37 rebounds.
"Other guys stepped up. We're learning how to play NBA basketball and we're growing," McMillan said. "I think this team can continue to develop and grow."
If the Blazers keep shooting like they did in the first half Tuesday, they could be passing the Jazz in the Northwest Division standings before long.
Webster hit his first four attempts and Jack scored 12 points in the second quarter as Portland went 20-for-34 in the first half. Both Webster and Jack were 4-for-5 in the first two periods and even after the Blazers' shooting finally cooled off, Portland had enough poise to hang on for its second straight road win.
"We definitely have capable scorers on the perimeter as well as on the inside," Jack said. "Guys were knocking down shots and I think that's really what opened it up for us in the second half."
Webster was 5-for-8 from beyond the arc and Steve Blake hit two 3-pointers for the Blazers.
Portland also forced the Jazz into some poor shooting. Utah was 5-for-19 from 3-point range and could never quite come all the way back from an 18-point deficit.
"We're not bringing a lot of energy and we're not playing a lot of defense," said Deron Williams, who had 11 points and nine assists for Utah. "They outhustled us."
When the Jazz finally did rally after a lifeless first three quarters, it was too late.
Millsap beat the buzzer with a fadeaway jumper that got Utah within 78-66 at the end of the third quarter. The Jazz scored the final six points of the quarter, then opened the fourth with a 9-2 run.
Jason Hart started it with a 3-pointer as the shot clock was about to expire, then Millsap spun free for a layup that cut the lead to 78-71 with 9:54.
Gordan Giricek and Harpring grabbed offensive rebounds on the same possession and Harpring got the ball inside to Millsap for another layup that got Utah within 80-75 and the fans who were booing just a period before were roaring. Giricek and Harpring hit 3-pointers to cut the lead to 85-81 with 6:03 remaining.
But the Jazz faded from there and Portland slowly pulled away to seal it and improve to 2-9 on the road.
"Even when teams make a run on us, we do a great job of keeping our heads up and staying in the game," Roy said.
Portland hadn't won in Utah since Feb. 6, 2003. ... Webster's previous scoring high was 24. ... Channing Frye scored 10 points for Portland. ... The Jazz were 7-for-23 in the second quarter and went 5:31 without a field goal.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)