Jazz have what it takes to hold on in Northwest Division
(Sports Network) – Utah (35-17) is in first place in the Northwest
Division, 8 1/2 games ahead of the second place Denver Nuggets. Led by All-
Stars Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson, the Nuggets will be primed to make a
run at the Jazz.
The Jazz are 2-0 against Denver this season. The Nuggets are scheduled to host
the Jazz on February 23rd at the Pepsi Center, while Utah will welcome Denver
to EnergySolutions Arena on April 11th in the final meeting of the campaign
between the clubs.
All-Star forward Carlos Boozer, who did not play in Sunday’s All-Star Game
at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, is still sidelined with a hairline
fracture in his left leg. Boozer, who was injured on January
27th against the Hornets, leads the Jazz in scoring (22.1 ppg) and
rebounding (11.8 rpg). He has recorded 33 double-doubles and has scored in
double-digits in 41 times this season.
Utah is 6-1 without Boozer.
The Jazz try to continue their excellent season, as they visit the Portland
Trail Blazers on Tuesday at the Rose Garden. It is the first game back for
both teams since the All-Star break.
Portland and the Jazz battle in the second of four meetings this season. On
December 30th, Mehmet Okur scored 20 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead
Utah to a 96-86 home victory over the Trail Blazers.
The Trail Blazers have lost five straight and 10 of their last 11 at Utah. The
Jazz have won five in a row in the series. Portland will host Jazz on April
4th and will visit Utah on April 16th.
Utah enters Tuesday’s contest on a six-game winning streak. On February 14th,
Deron Williams scored a career-high 33 points and had 12 assists as the Jazz
defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers, 99-98, at EnergySolutions Arena.
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.
The Jazz are a respectable 14-11 on the road this season. They will visit
Anthony and the Nuggets on Friday at the Pepsi Center.