SALT LAKE CITY -- Once teammates, Jazzman Paul Millsap and Portland's Wesley Matthews aren't quite sure what they are anymore.
They're friends, of course. However, before Friday's Jazz-Trail Blazers game the two seemed to have their wires crossed.
Millsap joked that Matthews is a trash talker on the court. Matthews later clarified that statement, noting he doesn't really talk to anyone but Millsap.
"It's just to him, it's just to 'Sap," Matthews said. "He was like my big brother here. He looked out for me, looked after me. Now he's still takes on that role."
Following Utah's morning shootaround, Millsap said he expected to receive a text message from Matthews, attempting to get under his skin.
"It's all in the fun of it," Millsap said.
Told Millsap was expecting a pregame text, Matthews laughed and said he probably wouldn't send one.
After thinking about it for a second or two he changed his mind.
"Actually, I will," he said. "I probably will."
Millsap said the trash-talking battle is really a one-sided affair.
"If he's trashing talking and you go back at him, it kind of does something for him," he said. "My main thing I learned is don't say anything back to him. Let him sit there and talk to himself, really."
Matthews and Millsap were teammates on the 2009-10 Jazz.
Millsap finished with 15 points and only two rebounds in Utah's victory Friday night. Matthews had nine points but played only 26 minutes. He rolled his ankle in with 4:13 left in the third quarter and did not return.
Jazz 86, Blazers 77
* BEST LINE: Al Jefferson finished with 21 points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots for the Jazz.
* KEY STAT: Making up for their 10 first-half turnovers, the Jazz held the Blazers to just 33 percent shooting from the field over the first two periods. Utah took a 51-36 lead into halftime.
* SIDELINE MOMENT: Former Weber State point guard Damian Lillard receives a very friendly reaction when he's introduced as part of Portland's starting lineup. He immediately scores the first basket of the game ... more cheering.
* HISTORY LESSON: Friday marked the 18th anniversary of the night John Stockton became the NBA's all-time leader in assists, surpassing Magic Johnson. Assist No. 9.922 was a bounce pass to teammate Karl Malone, who hit a corner jumpshot. That night Stockton finished with 16 assists and the Jazz beat Denver 129-88. Coincidentally, Malone grabbed his 13,000 career rebound on Feb. 1, 2001, making him the sixth player in NBA history to score more than 26,000 points to go along with 13,000 rebounds.
* INJURY REPORT: Jazz swingman Gordon Hayward (sprained right shoulder) missed his third consecutive game. They also went without point guard Mo Williams (thumb surgery). ... Point guard Earl Watson suffered a right knee injury in the first half but returned to play again. However, he aggravated the injury in the second half and did not return. He did not fly to Portland with his teammates on Friday and will instead undergo an MRI today. ... The Blazers went without Joel Freeland (Gastroenteritis) and Elliot Williams (left Achilles tendon). Guard Nicolas Batum underwent an MRI on his right wrist. He played 38 minutes but was ineffective, scoring just five points on 2-for-7 shooting.
* UP NEXT: The Jazz and Blazers will play again tonight in Portland, Ore. Utah returns home to host the Kings (Monday), Bucks (Wednesday) and Bulls (Friday) and EnergySolutions Arena.