Damian Lillard outduels Joe Johnson as Blazers rally back to stun Jazz in thrilling opener
Damian Lillard had 16 of his 39 points in the fourth to help the Blazers complete the comeback over the Jazz. AP

PORTLAND survived a thrilling shootout against Utah to open its season with a 113-104 win on Tuesday (Wednesday, Manila time) at the Moda Center.

Portland broke a tie game at the end of the first period, 26-all, as Damian Lillard took charge with nine points in the second quarter to take a 54-46 lead at the half.

But the Jazz stormed back as Joe Johnson dropped 15 points in third quarter and Utah took a six point lead into the fourth. 27 in the second half 11 in the fourth

Johnson and Lillard exchanged big buckets in the middle of the fourth, before CJ McCollum had back-to-back hits, including a triple, to give Portland the lead, 104-102 with 2:42 left.

Then the Blazers came up with crucial defensive plays before Lillard finished off the Jazz with a huge three to put them up 109-102 with less than a minute left.

Lillard led all scorers with 39 points, 16 in the fourth, while McCollum added 25 for the Blazers.

Johnson had all but two of his 29 points in the second half to lead the Jazz, while Rodney Hood and George Hill added 26 and 19, respectively.

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