NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, February 2nd (All times Eastern)
Utah Jazz (26-21) at Portland Trail Blazers (23-23), 10 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Portland Trail Blazers will look for some revenge against the Utah Jazz on Saturday night when the two teams meet in Portland for the finale of a home-and-home series.
The Blazers fell to the Jazz, 86-77, on Friday night in Utah. The Jazz built a 15-point lead at halftime, but the Blazers clawed back thanks to Rookie of the Year favorite Damian Lillard.
The reigning Western Conference Rookie of the Month returned to Utah, site of his college, Weber State, and scored 20 of his 26 points in the second half. It wasn't enough, but it was an impressive performance on a night when there were few strong Portland performances.
Wesley Matthews rolled his ankle and left the game. X-rays were negative and his availability for Saturday's rematch is unknown. LaMarcus Aldridge went 6- for-17 from the field for 16 points and Nicolas Batum only managed five points.
"For the night we had trouble scoring. Missed some easy shots around the basket and you have those nights," Portland coach Terry Stotts said. "We got off to a decent start offensively, we just got bogged down there at the end of the first quarter and second quarter and had a hard time scoring."
The Jazz were paced by their consistently strong inside game. Al Jefferson scored 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Paul Millsap added 15 points and Derrick Favors chipped in seven points and 12 boards off the bench.
"I hope they keep it the same," joked Jefferson when asked about what Portland will do differently on Saturday. "I know they're going to try and make some adjustments."
Randy Foye had 14 points and DeMarre Carroll picked up 13 points in a reserve role.
With starting point guard Mo Williams sidelined after right thumb surgery and Gordon Hayward down with a sprained right shoulder, guards are few and far between for the Jazz.
Earl Watson left Friday night's contest in the fourth quarter with a sore right leg.
"There's another guy down," said Jazz coach Ty Corbin. "We only have one real point guard in Jamaal (Tinsley) left. Alec (Burks) will have to play some more. We'll move some things around."
Corbin indicated that Hayward would not be back for the Portland part of this series.
"I wouldn't count on him tomorrow night," Corbin said after the win on Friday.
The Jazz have won five in a row over the Blazers and five of their last six in Portland.
02/02 10:42:59 ET