The Portland Trail Blazers invade the Delta Center to do battle with the Utah Jazz on Tuesday night.
Portland Trail Blazers
The Portland Trail Blazers have been in a rut and they will be looking to arrest a three-game skid after getting beaten by the Lakers in a 116-110 road loss on Sunday. Jerami Grant led the team with 23 points, Shaedon Sharpe added 19 points, Skylar Mays tallied 15 points with 12 assists while Matisse Thybulle chipped in with 14 points. As a team, the Trail Blazers shot 50 percent from the field and 13 of 37 from the 3-point line as they got off to a strong start and took the narrow lead into halftime, only to get blown away in the third quarter where the Lakers used a pivotal 15-2 run to pull away from them in the end.
Meanwhile, the Utah Jazz have been in poor form as they've lost six of their past eight games, but they will be feeling better after stopping a four-game slide with a 127-121 road win over the Grizzlies on Friday. Jordan Clarkson and Lauri Markkanen scored 26 points each, John Collins added 18 points on five of six shooting while Ochai Agbaji chipped in with 15 points on six of eight shooting. As a team, the Jazz shot 53 percent from the field and 18 of 37 from the 3-point line as they poured in 42 points in the second quarter to build a 21-point lead, but they had to go on another run in the fourth quarter after the Grizzlies clawed their way back.
The Trail Blazers are still shorthanded as Malcolm Brogdon, Robert Williams and Scoot Henderson are all out, while the Jazz are still without Walker Kessler. The Trail Blazers have been struggling a bit lately, but they were more than competitive in their narrow loss to the Lakers on Sunday which I think is actually better than the Jazz's narrow win over the slumping Grizzlies on Friday. The Jazz have the home-court advantage and they've had a couple extra days off, but I just don't think they should be favored by this many points given their form this season. I'm sticking with the shorthanded Trail Blazers to hang in the contest and get the cover in a close one.