OAKLAND, Calif. — Stephen Jackson scored 14 of his 24 points in the third quarter and the Golden State Warriors bolstered their playoff position against the short-handed Portland Trail Blazers in a 111-95 victory Thursday night.

OAKLAND, Calif. — Stephen Jackson scored 14 of his 24 points in the third quarter and the Golden State Warriors bolstered their playoff position against the short-handed Portland Trail Blazers in a 111-95 victory Thursday night.

The Warriors caught a lucky break when Portland All-Star guard Brandon Roy stayed home to nurse a sore groin. Golden State maintained a 1/2-game lead over Denver for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference and moved within a half-game of Dallas for seventh place.

Golden State's next two games are against those teams, beginning with a trip to Denver on Saturday, then a home game the following night against Dallas. That made this game against the Blazers just the latest "must win" in Golden State coach Don Nelson's mind.

The Warriors didn't come out of the gates playing that way, falling behind by 14 points in the first quarter before finding their stride. That's nothing new: Golden State has rallied from double-digit deficits in 16 of its 44 wins this season.

Golden State broke open a close game with a dominant third quarter, where its aggressiveness on offense paid off with 20 free-throw attempts in the quarter. The Warriors made 18 of them after not going to the line once in the first half. They also shot 9-for-13 from the field, turned the ball over only once and outscored the Blazers 40-20 to take a 91-72 lead into the fourth period.

The Blazers never threatened after that and the Warriors avoided losing back-to-back games for the first time since Jan. 2-4. Golden State has alternated wins and losses for the last nine games, but might need to do better than that over the final 11 games to make the playoffs.

Monta Ellis added 18 points and 10 rebounds for Golden State. Baron Davis scored 12 on 4-for-12 shooting after missing practice Wednesday with an illness.

Steve Blake led Portland with 22 points. Jarrett Jack added 19 and LaMarcus Aldridge had 17. The Blazers (38-35) are seven games behind Golden State in the playoff race and now have their hopes set on posting their first winning season in five years.

Aldridge, a game-time decision because of a sprained right ankle, overmatched the Warriors' inside players early and scored 11 points in the first nine minutes as Portland ran out to a 26-12 lead. Golden State erased that entire lead before halftime, taking a 41-40 edge with about 4 minutes left in the half when Al Harrington's 3-pointer capped an 11-0 run.

Roy is expected to miss at least four games with the groin injury.