NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, April 1st (All times Eastern)
Portland Trail Blazers (33-40) at Utah Jazz (38-36), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Utah Jazz have won four straight and are tied with the Los Angeles Lakers for the eighth playoff spot out west. They will try to keep it going on Monday when they host the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Jazz have taken four in a row after losing four in a row and sliding down the standings. The Lakers have lost four of six and the two are tied with less than 10 games to go.
The Dallas Mavericks are in the mix too, just 1 1/2 games behind both teams.
The Jazz and Lakers both have eight games left on their schedule. Los Angeles has eight games remaining on its schedule and six are at home, while the Jazz play five in Salt Lake City.
On Saturday, the Jazz knocked off the Brooklyn Nets, 116-107. Utah shot 55.6 percent from the field and 58.8 percent from behind the 3-point line
Five Jazz players scored in double figures and three cracked the 20-point mark.
Randy Foye shot 9-for-11 and 8-for-9 from long range for 26 points. Mo Williams and Al Jefferson each had 20 and Derrick Favors and Marvin Williams scored double digits off the bench.
It was just a week ago when the Jazz were slogging through a winless trip in Texas. Fast-forward and they have all the momentum in going for that last Western Conference postseason spot.
"We're playing better," said Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin. "It's great for this group of guys. When we were struggling earlier, I had a feeling that we would get out of it because the guys continued to work."
The Blazers have lost four in a row and have all but fallen out of contention for that last spot. They trail the Jazz and Lakers by 4 1/2 games with nine to play.
After losing to the Jazz at home on Friday, the Blazers visited the Golden State Warriors on Saturday and lost, 125-98. That was a season-high in points allowed for a Portland squad that was without its best player, LaMarcus Aldridge, who sat with a sprained ankle.
"They are a hard team to stop and especially with Stephen Curry making the shots that he makes all you can do is tip your hat to them," said Portland coach Terry Stotts. "They can do a lot of different things. They can post, they can run and they can shoot threes. With that all being said, I was pretty disappointed in our defense in the first half particularly."
Damian Lillard, the presumptive Rookie of the Year, had 16 points on Saturday, but his two 3-pointers tied Curry's single-season rookie record for made 3- pointers with 166.
Meyers Leonard started in place of Aldridge and had 22 points and 10 rebounds. J.J. Hickson recorded his 40th double-double of the season with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
The Jazz beat the Blazers on Friday and have taken six of the last seven. Utah has won three straight and 14 of 17 at home versus Portland.
04/01 10:24:25 ET