Portland Trail Blazers vs. Utah Jazz Preview
At times this season, the Portland Trail Blazers and Utah Jazz looked like aimless teams that could not get over the hump. Those days are no longer, and now they are right in the mix in the ultra-competitive Western Conference and will put their winning streaks on the line when they face off tonight.
Portland has won their last two games, is 7-3 in their last 10 and are fourth in the West. Overall on the season, they are 31-20. The Jazz are 29-22, good enough for seventh in the West. They are on a three-game winning streak and are 9-1 in their last 10.
In their last matchup, just days ago on January 21, Portland won 109-104. They had to overcome a 36-point effort from Donovan Mitchell. Damian Lillard had 26 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in the Blazers win.
The backcourt battle between Mitchell and C.J. McCollum will be one to watch tonight as they are all capable of scoring quickly.
Time: 10:30pm ET
Arena: Moda Center, Portland, OR
Portland Trail Blazers Starting Lineup
Damian Lillard will be out for tonight’s game, but after the way C.J. McCollum performed in their last game, the Blazers are likely riding high into this game.
Without Lillard against the Hawks on Saturday, the Blazers got out to a scorching start, scoring 40 first-quarter points. McCollum took over the role of primary distributor and was able to help with his scoring as well. He finished with a triple-double of 28 points, 10 assists, and 10 rebounds. Seth Curry stepped into the starting lineup with Lillard out, and he scored 22 for Portland.
Jusuf Nurkic is having a standout season in Portland, averaging 15 points, 10 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game. He’s also shown some flashes of being a very capable passer. He had four assists against the Hawks, had seven a few games before that and 10 assists as part of a triple-double on January 16th.
Nurkic will face off against Rudy Gobert tonight in what should be a fun matchup to watch in addition to the Mitchell-McCollum one.
Utah Jazz Starting Lineup
One of the main reasons for Utah’s growth this season has been their improvement defensively. They already had one of the best rim protectors in the league in Rudy Gobert, but the Jazz seem to have embraced being one of the league’s better defensive teams. They currently allow just 105.1 points per game.
The Jazz have been a great example of balanced offense lately. In their most recent win over Minnesota, they had seven players score in double digits. They were all led by Donovan Mitchell with 29 points. Kyle Korver continues to provide some extra scoring punch off the bench, and he’s made them a better three-point shooting team as a byproduct.
Mitchell said he got out of his early-season funk by making better reads and attacking the right angles. The change in Mitchell has seemed to get the entire team on track.
Portland Trail Blazers vs. Utah Jazz Betting Odds
The Trail Blazers are two-point favorites to win and protect their home court tonight. The over/under is 218 points. The moneyline has remained largely unchained, but the Blazers opened at -115 and they are now live at -125.
Utah is 25-13-13 against the spread and Portland is 27-13-11 ATS. Portland is 21-7 at home and 24-7 as the favorite. The Jazz are 14-13 away from Salt Lake City and 5-8 as the betting underdog.
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