NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, February 20th (All times eastern)
Utah Jazz (35-17) at Portland Trail Blazers (22-32), 10 p.m.
(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 Division, 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 the Cavs, 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, and the Jazz are 6-1 without the Duke product.
Williams did not practice on Monday and is doubtful for tonight's game with a strained left groin.
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 process, but has 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 fourth 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 in Salt Lake City.
The Jazz have won five in a row in the series, and are 2-0 over the past two trips to Portland.
The Trail Blazers will host the Jazz on April 4th and will later visit EnergySolutions Arena on April 16th.
02/20 12:24:50 ET