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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, December 31st (All times eastern)

Portland Trail Blazers (18-12) at Utah Jazz (16-16), 9:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The scorching Portland Trail Blazers go for their 14th straight victory when they visit Northwest Division-rival Utah tonight at EnergySolutions Arena.

This is the third of four meetings between the clubs this season. The Trail Blazers won the first two contests and have won four of the last five overall in the series. Portland snapped a six-game series road losing streak with a 97-89 victory in Utah on December 11, 2007.

Portland is scheduled to host the Jazz on January 5, 2008 at the Rose Garden.

The red-hot Trail Blazers play the first of a three-game road trip tonight. On Sunday, Brandon Roy scored 22 points, grabbed six rebounds and handed out six assists as Portland battled back to pound the Philadelphia 76ers, 97-72, at home to increase its winning streak to 13 games.

The winning streak is the second-longest in Trail Blazers history, just ahead of the 12-game streak that the 2001-02 team ran off. Portland had a team-best 16-game winning streak accomplished by the 1990-91 squad.

James Jones and Travis Outlaw ended with 12 points apiece in the win for the Trail Blazers, who outscored the Sixers, 35-9, in the fourth quarter. Steve Blake collected 11 points in the victory.

The Trail Blazers, who have won three in a row as the visitor, are just 3-9 on the road this season. They are scheduled to visit the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday at the Target Center and the Chicago Bulls on Thursday at the United Center.

Utah has dropped two in a row and plays the middle contest of a three-game homestand. On Saturday, Paul Pierce scored four straight points to break a late tie and finished with a game-high 24 to lead the Boston Celtics to a 104-98 victory over the Jazz at EnergySolutions Arena.

Deron Williams led the Jazz with 22 points and 11 assists, while Carlos Boozer collected 19 points and 11 rebounds in the loss for Utah, which fell for the fifth time in its last seven outings.

The Jazz are 10-3 at home this season and will host the 76ers on Wednesday.

On the injury front for Utah, forward Andrei Kirilenko (strained right biceps) is questionable for Monday's game. Kirilenko is averaging 11.7 points, 6.9 rebounds and 4.9 assists in 31 games this season. He did not play against Boston.

12/31 10:56:59 ET


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