NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, March 18th (All times eastern)
Utah Jazz (20-44) at New Jersey Nets (29-36), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The New Jersey Nets shoot for their third straight victory this evening, when they tangle with the struggling Utah Jazz at Continental Airlines Arena.
New Jersey has won three of its last four contests, including a 100-84 victory over the Chicago Bulls at home on Wednesday. Vince Carter finished with 30 points, eight rebounds and eight assists to pace the Nets to the win. Carter has posted 20 or more points in 28 of the last 30 games.
Jason Kidd added 22 points, 11 boards and eight assists to help New Jersey to the win. Kidd registered his 18th double-double of the year. Jason Collins posted 14 points and 11 rebounds and Nenad Kristic netted 11 points for the Nets.
New Jersey shot 48 percent from the field, while limiting the Bulls to 39 percent shooting. The Nets hit 5-of-17 (.294) from three-point range and 17- of-24 (.708) from the free throw line. New Jersey outrebounded the Bulls, 46-41, in the victory.
New Jersey remains in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race, trailing Philadelphia and Orlando by 2 1/2 games. The Nets reside 3 1/2 contests back of seventh place Indiana.
The Nets, who are closing out a two-game homestand, are 17-14 in foreign buildings this season. New Jersey has won 10 of its last 15 home tilts.
Utah enters this contest with seven straight losses, including a 103-84 thumping at the hands of the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night at Conseco Fieldhouse. Mehmet Okur paced Utah with 16 points.
Andrei Kirilenko chipped in 15 for the slumping Jazz, who have dropped three in a row on their current five-game road trip. For the year, Utah is just 7-26 in foreign buildings.
Gordan Giricek rounded out Utah's double-digit scorers with 12 in the defeat. The Jazz shot 48.4 percent from the field, including 4-of-8 (.500) from three- point range. Utah drained only 18-of-29 (.621) from the charity stripe, while being outrebounded, 44-27.
Utah coach Jerry Sloan remains one victory shy of tying Red Auerbach for sixth place on the NBA's regular-season coaching win list. Sloan has tallied a 937-604 record.
The Jazz have gone just 3-10 without the injured Carlos Boozer in the lineup. Utah has dropped five straight and 10 of its last 11 road tilts.
New Jersey registered a 99-82 thumping of the Jazz at the Delta Center on Jan. 29. Nonetheless, the Jazz have won 16 of 19 and 27 of their last 32 meetings in this series. Utah has won 13 of its last 15 trips to New Jersey.
03/18 10:07:56 ET