Playing without the injured LaMarcus Aldridge, the Blazers played inspired basketball for most of the game and led by as many as 14 points over Utah, one of the teams the Blazers are trying to catch to earn a playoff spot.
However, after leading by nine early in the 4th quarter, and by six with just over 3 and a half minutes remaining, the Blazers suddenly began turning the ball over, and the Jazz capitalized, going on a 21-3 scoring run to move in front 101-92. The shell-shocked Blazers could not recover, and fell 105-95.
With the loss, Portland fell 3.5 games behind both the Lakers and Jazz who now sport identical 37-36 records.
Utah had three players with more than twenty points. Mo Williams, who fueled the 4th-quarter comeback, led the Jazz with 28 points. Paul Millsap had 25 points and 10 rebounds, and Al Jefferson added 22 points and 8 boards.
Damian Lillard led the Blazers with 24 points and JJ Hickson contributed 17 points and a game-high 14 rebounds.
The Blazers travel to the Bay Area and will play the Golden State Warriors Saturday night. Game time is 7:30 p.m. Coverage tips off at 6:30 p.m. on the Home of the Blazers, 1190 (AM) and 102.3 (FM) KEX.