Utah tries to get back on winning track versus Portland
(Sports Network) – The Northwest Division-champion Utah Jazz play the middle
contest of a season-ending three-game homestand, as they welcome the Portland
Trail Blazers tonight to EnergySolutions Arena.
Utah is the fourth seed in the Western Conference standings. However, the Jazz
are in serious danger of opening the playoffs on the road against No. 5
Houston. The Rockets are two games ahead of the Jazz with two games left on
both clubs schedules.
The Jazz will host the Rockets on Wednesday in the regular-season finale for
both clubs. Houston plays the Pacific Division-champion Phoenix Suns this
evening at the Toyota Center, and can clinch home-court advantage in the first
round with a victory or a loss by Utah.
Utah tries to rebound from a bad setback. On Saturday, Leandro Barbosa came
off the bench and poured in 28 points as the Suns routed the Jazz, 126-98, at
Mehmet Okur had 20 points and 10 boards for the Jazz, who have dropped six of
their last seven games overall. Carlos Boozer scored 18 points and pulled down
10 boards in the loss.
The Jazz are 29-10 at home this season. They have lost three in a row as the
Portland tries to win back-to-back games. Jarrett Jack scored 25 points and
Travis Outlaw tied a career-high with 22 points to lead the Trail Blazers over
the Seattle SuperSonics, 108-102, on Saturday at the Rose Garden.
Martell Webster added 17 points and six rebounds for the Trail Blazers, who
halted a four-game slide. Jamaal Magloire had nine points and 15 boards for
Portland, which won for just the third time in its last 11 outings.
The Trail Blazers are 14-26 on the road this season. They will wrap up their
regular season on Wednesday at home against the Golden State Warriors.