UTAH JAZZ

Jazz Hope To Finish Road Trip Strong Against Trail Blazers

Jan 31, 2020, 2:20 PM
CJ McCollum #3 of the Portland Trail Blazers drives around Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz at Vivi...
CJ McCollum #3 of the Portland Trail Blazers drives around Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena on October 16, 2019 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz have lost three straight and are winless on their current three game road trip. They hope to turn that around and finish the trip with a win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday.

Utah is 32-16 on the season and are sitting in fourth place in the Western Conference standings, one game behind both the Los Angeles Clippers and the Denver Nuggets. They have lost their last three games, falling to Houston at home by nine points, at San Antonio by seven points and at Denver by six points.

Portland holds a 21-27 record on the year and are in 10th place in the west, three games behind Memphis for the eighth spot in the standings. They have won their last two games, beating Indiana by 10 points at home and knocking off Houston by 13 points in Portland.

This will be the second meeting between Utah and Portland with the first matchup taking place on December 26 in Salt Lake City with the Jazz getting the 121-115 win. After the game on Saturday, they will rematch on Friday, February 7 in Salt Lake City. The Jazz will play Denver for the second time in between the two meetings with the Trail Blazers.

Donovan Mitchell Looking For Bounce Back Performance

The Jazz previous game against the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night was the first game for Donovan Mitchell since it was announced that he was named to his first All-Star game. It was a tough night for the young Jazz star against the Nuggets. He finished with just 4 points on 1-12 shooting from the field and 0-6 from the three point line in 35 minutes on the floor. The positives from his performance was dishing out 8 assists and pulling down 5 rebounds.

That point total was tied for the lowest for Mitchell this season. He also scored 4 points at home against the Charlotte Hornets on 2-9 shooting in 22 minutes on the floor. The Jazz mentioned after that game that Mitchell was not feeling well and he missed the next game

Jazz big man Rudy Gobert had a tremendous performance against the Nuggets after also being named to his first All-Star game. The Frenchman had 21 points, 11 rebounds and 3 blocks in the loss.

Jordan Clarkson finished with a season-high 37 points off the bench.

Damian Lillard Is On Fire

The first thing on the Utah’s scouting report should be to limit former Weber State star Damian Lillard. The former Wildcat was named to his fifth NBA All-Star game after averaging a career-high 29 points per game, along with 4.3 rebounds and a career-best 7.8 assists per contest. Lillard is shooting 45 percent from the field and 38 percent from beyond the arc.

Entering Friday night, Lillard has scored over 30 points in the last six games. He has dropped 40 points or more in three of those games, 50 or more twice and had a career-high and franchise record 61 points on January 20 against the Golden State Warriors.

His backcourt teammate C.J. McCollum is posting 21.6 points, 4 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game. Carmelo Anthony is putting up 15.8 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. He will not play in their game on Friday in Los Angeles against the Lakers due to personal reasons. According to reports, Anthony is not playing because he is still grieving the loss of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant. Anthony’s status for Saturday night is unknown.

The Jazz and Trail Blazers will tip-off on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. on AT&T SportsNet.

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