Portland At Utah
When: 9:00 PM
ET, Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Where: EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah
The Portland Trail Blazers and Utah Jazz could be missing some key pieces when they meet Wednesday in Salt Lake City. Utah leading scorer Gordon Hayward is expected to miss his second straight game with a shoulder injury and starting guard Rodney Hood also is listed as doubtful with an illness. The Trail Blazers played without leading scorer and rebounder LaMarcus Aldridge (hand) and starting small forward Nicolas Batum (back) in their loss Tuesday against the visiting Golden State Warriors.
Neither team fared well without their star players this week, as Utah lost in overtime to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night and the Trail Blazers went down to the NBA-leading Warriors on Tuesday. Joe Ingles started in place of Hayward and scored 18 points on 7-for-10 from the floor and 4-for-6 from 3-point range, but also committed six of the 17 turnovers by the Jazz, who were minus-9 when Ingles was on the floor. Dorell Wright filled in for Aldridge and got off to a good start before finishing with 12 points, nearly have of what Aldridge averages.
TV: 9 p.m. ET, CSN Northwest (Portland), ROOT Sports (Utah)
ABOUT THE TRAIL BLAZERS (44-25): The Trail Blazers have lost a season-high five straight games, and the problem seems to be on the defensive end of the floor. The Warriors shot a season-best 60.2 percent from the field against Portland on Tuesday night ,and the Trail Blazers have surrendered triple digits four times in the losing streak. Giving up 122 points to the Warriors is one thing, but surrendering 111 to the Orlando Magic, who are 25th in the league in scoring at 96.1, as Portland did Friday is a much more troubling sign.
ABOUT THE JAZZ (31-39): Trey Burke tried to pick up the scoring slack Monday against the Timberwolves but came up woefully short, shooting 4-for-22 from the floor, including 2-for-13 from beyond the arc, and he committed five turnovers. Burke had shot the ball well in the previous three games, hitting on 19-of-35 in that span. He seems to enjoy playing against Portland, scoring 18 and 19 points in the two previous meetings this season.
1. Portland scored a season-low 76 points when these teams last met Feb. 20.
2. The Jazz are allowing an NBA-low 85.2 points a game since the All Star break, 8.4 points below the No. 2 Memphis Grizzlies.
3. Utah C Rudy Gobert has 163 blocks this season and F Derrick Favors has 112, the first time the Jazz have two players with at least 100 blocks since Andrei Kirilenko (215) and Greg Ostertag (139) in the 2003-04 season.
PREDICTION: Jazz 93, Trail Blazers 88
Stats and Records
Utah Off vs
94.8 Points For
98.3 Points Against