Salt Lake City, UTAH – The Portland Trail Blazers will lock horns for the time this season with division rival Utah Jazz in a back-to-back, home-and-home matchup beginning at EnergySolutions Arena tonight.
Recently, the Jazz have had the Trail Blazers' number.
In the past four seasons, the Jazz have won the opening game of the season series and won eight of the last nine seasons. Last season, the Jazz swept the season series 4-0.
The Jazz (25-21) are sitting in the seventh spot in the Western Conference standings and the Trail Blazers (23-22) are only a game and a half behind them at the ninth spot.
After dropping a season-high six games in a row, the Trail Blazers have turned things around by winning three of their last four games.
“We've been doing it all season long,” said Trail Blazers guard Wesley Matthews who is averaged 18.5 points in four games versus Utah last season. “When people count us out, we shock them, but it's not a surprise to us.”
The Jazz have conquered 10 of its last 14 games.
The Trail Blazers will be without their rookie center Joel Freeland as he deals with a case of gastroenteritis. He did not travel to Utah and he's out for tomorrow night's game as well. Nicolas Batum (wrist) is listed as probable. An MRI taken yesterday came back negative. Batum has been dealing with pain in his wrist for over a week now.
Tonight's game will be televised on Comcast SportsNet at 6 p.m. and on 1190 AM/102.3 FM KEX radio.