Jazz, Trail Blazers clash in Portland
(Sports Network) – The Utah Jazz try to continue their excellent season, as
they visit the Portland Trail Blazers tonight at the Rose Garden.
This is the first game back for both teams since the All-Star break.
Utah is in first place in the Northwest Divsion, 8 1/2 games ahead of the
second place Denver Nuggets.
The Jazz enter tonight’s contest on a six-game winning streak. On February
14th, Deron Williams scored a career-high 33 points and had 12 assists as
Utah defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers, 99-98, at EnergySolutions Arena.
Mehmet Okur, who played in his first All-Star Game on Sunday, finished with 22
points in the win over Cleveland for the Jazz, while Andrei Kirilenko added 10
for Utah, which has won 11 of its last 14 games overall.
All-Star forward Carlos Boozer is still sidelined with a hairline fracture in
his left fibula. Boozer is averaging team-highs in points (22.1 ppg) and
rebounds (11.8 rpg). He did not participate in Sunday’s All-Star Game at the
Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
Boozer last played on January 27th against the New Orleans/Oklahoma City
Hornets. The Jazz are 6-1 without the Duke product.
Utah is a respectable 14-11 on the road this season. The Jazz will visit
Carmelo Anthony and the Nuggets on Friday at the Pepsi Center.
Portland is in the re-building mode, but have shown signs that the future
looks bright for the franchise. The Trail Blazers lost their final two games
before the break.
Zach Randolph leads Portland in scoring (24.0 ppg) and rebounding (10.2 rpg),
while Jarrett Jack has dished out a team-best 5.5 assists per game.
The Trail Blazers are 12-14 at the Rose Garden this season. Portland is in
four place in the Northwest Division, 14 games behind the Jazz.
This is the second of four meetings between the teams this season. On December
30th, Okur scored 20 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead Utah to a 96-86
home victory over the Trail Blazers.
Portland has lost five straight and 10 of its last 11 at Utah. The Jazz have
won five in a row in the series.
The Trail Blazers will host Jazz on April 4th and will visit Utah on April