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Jazz down Portland, add to NBA road spree

Utah had six players with 15 points or more to defy the absence of Donovan Mitchell and beat Portland for an eighth straight NBA road win.

Australian Joe Ingles started in place of Mitchell in the 120-105 win over the Trail Blazers, taking just three shots to finish with five points, three assists and three rebounds.

But six others scored 15 or more points and the Jazz were 25 points better than the Blazers with the Boomers veteran on the floor.

It was a fifth straight win overall for the Jazz, who improved to 25-9 and 15-3 against Western Conference rivals.

Rudy Gobert scored 22 points and grabbed 14 rebounds and Rudy Gay netted 21 points.

Damian Lillard and Norman Powell each fired in 32 points for Portland, but Larry Nance Jr (14 points) was the only other Blazer to reach double figures for the short-handed squad that has dropped three games in a row.

The Blazers, who never led and trailed by as many as 22 points, were without two coaches, including Portland head coach Chauncey Billups, and seven players who are all in the NBA’s health and safety protocols.

Utah’s bench came up big on a night the team’s leading scorer Mitchell was sidelined with a back injury.

Along with Gay, who hit eight of 13 shots and grabbed six rebounds, Jordan Clarkson totalled 19 points, five assists and four rebounds, and former Blazer big Hassan Whiteside collected a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Elsewhere, Boomers bronze medallist Josh Green earned more big minutes for the Dallas Mavericks, who were beaten 95-94 on the buzzer by an unlikely corner three from Sacremento’s Chimezie Metu.

Green had been sparingly used earlier this season but returned from a stint in the NBA’s health and safety protocols earlier this week to post 10 assists, nine points, four rebounds and two steals.

With star man Luka Doncic still missing, Green was again heavily leaned on against the Kings, playing in the final seconds as he finished with four points, three rebounds and three assists in 27 minutes.

LeBron James led Los Angeles with 37 points – a day short of his 37th birthday – and 13 rebounds and a season-high eight three-pointers.

Russell Westbrook added a triple-double with 16 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists.

But Ja Morant (41 points), Desmond Bane (20) and the Memphis Grizzlies overcame a 14-point second-half deficit to win 104-99.

Devin Booker scored 38 points, surpassing 10,000 for his career, and the Phoenix Suns beat Oklahoma City to end a two-game losing streak and tie for the NBA lead.

Australian rookie Josh Giddey missed the game as he remained in the league’s health and safety protocols.

And Eric Bledsoe scored 10 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter, hitting a key three-pointer down the stretch, to help Los Angeles Clippers beat Boston.

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