Posted January 31, 2013 on
AP on Fox
Aside from one historic setback, the Utah Jazz have recaptured their early season success on their home court.
That's doesn't bode well for the Portland Trail Blazers, who have had a difficult time closing out wins on the road.
The Jazz will try for their eighth win in nine games at home Friday night when they take on the Northwest Division rival Trail Blazers in the first of four meetings over the next two months.
Utah (25-21) also looks to stay ahead of Houston and Portland (23-22) in a three-way fight for the final two playoff spots in the Western Conference.
Following a franchise-worst 125-80 home defeat to the Rockets on Monday, the Jazz responded with a 104-99 victory over New Orleans in Salt Lake City two days later.
"It's tough to let a game like that go," forward Paul Millsap said. "You have to move on and put one foot ahead of the other and keep pushing."
Utah won seven of eight - including victories over Miami and Indiana - at home in January. The Jazz went 10-4 during the month as they bounced back nicely from a rough stretch of seven losses in nine games at the end of December.
Now Utah will try to carry that momentum into its first home date in February against a Portland team that has dropped three straight on the road.
The Trail Blazers, however, have won three of four overall after a season-worst six-game losing streak.
Portland hopes to build on its dramatic 106-104 victory over Dallas on Tuesday. LaMarcus Aldridge had 29 points and 13 rebounds and hit the buzzer-beating jumper as the Blazers rallied from a 21-point third-quarter deficit.
Aldridge, named an All-Star reserve, will try to stay hot after averaging 25.0 points on 21-of-34 shooting and 12.0 rebounds in his last two.
"He is an All Star," forward Nicolas Batum said. "He's a go-to guy."
J.J. Hickson also came up big with a season-best 26 points and 15 boards Tuesday. The veteran big man has averaged 16.6 points on 65.4 percent shooting over his last eight games.
Guard Wesley Matthews could be a factor against the Jazz, having scored 22.7 per game in the last three meetings.
Portland has averaged 102.3 points on 49.4 percent shooting in three straight home wins but has scored 93.0 points per game while hitting 42.9 percent from the floor in dropping four of six on the road.
The Trail Blazers will try to turn that around against the Jazz, who have been getting solid contributions from Millsap. He is averaging 20.7 points and 9.7 rebounds in Utah's last three wins.
Third-leading scorer Gordon Hayward, who has missed the last two games, is doubtful with a sprained shoulder.
The Jazz are averaging 101.2 points at home, and they may be able to find some opportunities against the Trail Blazers, who allow 101.3 per game on the road.
Utah has won four straight against Portland after sweeping the season series in 2011-12.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Utah Jazz guard Gordon Hayward will miss his second straight game Wednesday night against the New Orleans Hornets with a sprained right shoulder.
The team announced the decision following a morning practice.
Hayward was unavailable Monday as well when the Jazz suffered their most lopsided home loss in franchise history, 125-80 to the Houston Rockets.
Hayward is the team's...
Al Jefferson had 21 points, including two one-handed shots in the lane to clinch the victory, and the Utah Jazz beat the Portland Trail Blazers 86-77 on Friday night.
Paul Millsap added 15 points for the Jazz, who have won eight of their last nine home games.
After trailing most of the game, LaMarcus Aldridge, who had 16 points and 10 rebounds, made a putback to cap nine consecutive...
This is the point of the season that NBA fans all aspire to be General Managers, I am no different. In my column last week, Close Games Bring Portland Trail Blazers to a Cross Roads, I put forward that it is time for the Trail Blazers to deal LaMarcus Aldridge. This week I suggest a [...]
[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
Portland star LaMarucs Aldridge doesn’t get talked about enough nationally. Why? He is not playing in LA, Miami, New York or Chicago. Last night in Portland’s two point win over Dallas the All Star shined late.
The Mavericks were leading as many as 21 points in the third quarter and by 7 points as late as the final two minutes of the game but it was time for Aldridge to take...
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Paul Millsap scored 25 points, Al Jefferson had 22 and the Utah Jazz defeated the New Orleans Hornets 104-99 on Wednesday night.
Ryan Anderson's 3-pointer with 15 seconds left pulled the Hornets within 100-97 but Randy Foye and Millsap each hit two free throws down the stretch to seal it.
Coming off a 45-point loss to Houston on Monday, the Jazz trailed...
If you’re waiting for this year’s Portland Trail Blazers squad to give in and settle for a lottery pick, you’re looking in the wrong place. “Give up” is not a part of this team’s vocabulary.
Portland started last week off with another loss to the lowly Washington Wizards, extending its losing streak to six games. Their last win had come against the Miami...
While five teams have more total lottery picks on their rosters, the Jazz have the most under 25 in Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, Alec Burks and Enes Kanter.
Eric Gordon won't be playing in back-to-back games for the forseeable future.
The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported that Gordon will miss Wednesday's game with the Utah Jazz and will continue to sit out the back-half of consecutive games. It's hard to blame them with Gordon's shaky knees.
In Tuesday night's loss to the Lakers, Gordon scored 25 points and...
This is the point of the season that NBA fans all aspire to be General Managers, I am no different. In my column last week, Close Games Bring Portland Trail Blazers to a Cross Roads, I put forward that it is time for the Trail Blazers to deal LaMarcus Aldridge. This week I suggest a deal.
I propose the Blazers trade Aldridge to the Milwaukee Bucks for rookie PF John Henson, C...
SALT LAKE CITY -- It wasn't a blowout like many of their flustered fans would've preferred, but the Utah Jazz bounced back from Monday's humiliating loss to Houston. Paul Millsap scored 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and Al Jefferson had 22 points as the Jazz rebounded to beat the New Orleans Hornets 104-99 Wednesday night at EnergySolutions Arena. "Absolutely...
SALT LAKE CITY -- Paul Millsap scored 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and Al Jefferson had 22 points as the Utah Jazz rebounded from a humiliating home loss to beat the New Orleans Hornets 104-99 Wednesday night at EnergySolutions Arena. Jefferson scored six points in the final four minutes, including a key jumper to put the Jazz up 99-94 with 1:16 remaining. Jazz guard Randy...
Former NBA center Greg Oden is hoping to return next season and the Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat appear to be the front-runners to land the 7-footer who last played in 2009. Injuries have derailed the career of Oden, the former No. 1 overall draft pick who left Ohio State in 2007 after one season, since he entered the NBA. Oden has undergone three microfracture surgeries...
The Dallas Mavericks took on the Portland Trail Blazers Tuesday night and it seemed it would be a blowout as the Mavericks had a sizeable lead, but Portland would make a run. LaMarcus Aldridge would hit the turnaround jumper from the inbounds pass to seal a win for Portland and even more entertaining was Aldridge’s three-pointer [...]The post LaMarcus Aldridge Hits The Game-Winner...