Blazers Face Jazz Thursday For First Time Since Season Opener

by Casey Holdahl
Follow @chold

While the currently sit at sixth in the Western Conference, a position many other teams would like to be in, the Trail Blazers haven’t had much success recently in beating the teams above them in the standings. They’ll have an opportunity to reverse that trend Thursday night versus the Utah Jazz, owners of the best record in the NBA, in Salt Lake City. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

SERIES HISTORY

ALL TIME: Jazz lead, 105-88
PORTLAND HOME: Trail Blazers lead, 65-32
UTAH HOME: Jazz lead, 73-23
LAST PORTLAND WIN: 125-104, 2/1/20 (Portland)
LAST UTAH WIN: 120-100, 12/23/20 (Portland)
CURRENT WIN STREAK: Two (Utah)

SERIES NOTES

• The Trail Blazers April 8 game against the Jazz will be the second matchup between Portland and Utah this season. The Jazz lead the season series, 1-0.

HISTORIC SHOOTING: The Jazz (17.0) and Trail Blazers (16.2) are the league leaders in three-pointers made per game. They are both on pace to break the NBA record for average 3PM over a season, which is currently held by the 2018-19 Houston Rockets (16.1).

LAST MEETING: The Jazz won the sole matchup thus far this season, 120-100, in both team's season opener on Dec. 23. CJ McCollum led the Trail Blazers with 23 points (7-19 FG, 3-8 3-PT, 6-6 FT), four rebounds, three assists and one block. Rudy Gobert paced the Jazz with 20 points (8-10 FG, 4-6 FT), 17 rebounds, two assists and one steal.

• Damian Lillard has scored at least 34 points in four of his last five games against Utah, including 42 points and six assists at Utah on Feb. 7, 2020 and 51 points and 12 assists on Feb. 1, 2020.

• Sunday will be CJ McCollum's 27th career regular-season game against the Jazz, his highest total against any team. He holds career averages of 18.2 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists against Utah.

• Carmelo Anthony scored 15 points (5-12 FG, 5-6 FT) to go with four rebounds and one steal against Utah on Dec. 23.

• Rudy Gobert has recorded at least 11 rebounds in each of his last four games against the Trail Blazers.

• Donovan Mitchell finished with 20 points (6-16 FG, 4-10 3-PT, 4-4 FT), three rebounds, five assists and one steal on Dec. 23 at Portland.

MILESTONE WATCH: Damian Lillard (1,973 career 3PM) is currently tied with LeBron James for 13th on the all-time NBA list of made three-pointers.Next up is Joe Johnson in 12th with 1,978. James and Lillard are tied for third among active players.

MILESTONE WATCH: CJ McCollum (3,629 career FGM) is six made field goals from passing Rasheed Wallace for 10th on the Trail Blazer's all-time field goal list.

LAST THREE GAMES

Game #50 - LA Clippers, Portland 116 — April 6, 2021, STAPLES Center, Los Angeles

Portland wasn't able to overcome a 47-point first quarter out of the Clippers, eventually falling 133-116 to LA at STAPLES ... Portland had all five starters finish in double-figures for the seventh time this season ... Norman Powell recorded his highest scoring games as a Trail Blazer, finishing with 32 points (8-18 FG, 2-7 3-PT, 14-15 FT) and four rebounds ... CJ McCollum added 24 points (9-15 FG, 2-4 3-PT, 4-5 FT), three rebounds, six assists and two steals ... Robert Covington had 15 points (6-13 FG, 2-7 3-PT, 1-2 FT), nine rebounds, two assists and two steals ... Enes Kanter recorded 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting (3-4 FT), 15 rebounds, one assist and two blocks ... Damian Lillard had 11 points (2-14 FG, 1-6 3-PT, 6-7 FT), four rebounds, six assists and one block ... Paul George led the Clippers with 36 points (11-18 FG, 6-9 3-PT, 8-8 FT), three rebounds, five assists, one steal and one block ... Kawhi Leonard added 29 points, 12 boards and seven assists.

Game #49 - Portland 133, Oklahoma City 85 — April 3, 2021, Moda Center, Portland

The Trail Blazers outscored the Thunder by 26 points in the third quarter, en route to a 133-105 victory over Oklahoma City at Moda Center ... Portland's 48 point margin of victory is tied for the second-largest in franchise history ... CJ McCollum led Portland with 20 points (8-14 FG, 4-8 3-PT), four rebounds and four assists ... Damian Lillard added 16 points (6-15 FG, 3-7 3-PT, 1-1 FT), three rebounds, six assists and three steals ... Enes Kanter recorded 12 points on 6-of-13 from the field and pulled down 17 boards ... His 17 rebounds were tied for the most this season by a player off the bench ... Anfernee Simons had 16 points in 23 minutes off the bench ... Norman Powell scored 15 points to go with four rebounds and three steals ... Kenrich Williams led the Thunder with 18 points (7-13 FG, 1-3 3-PT, 3-3 FT), five rebounds and three assists ... Tony Bradley added 14 points, eight boards and two assists in 25 minutes off the bench.

Game #48 - Milwaukee 127, Portland 109 — April 2, 2021, Moda Center, Portland

Antetokounmpo was 18-of-18 from inside the arc, and the Bucks handled the Trail Blazers, 127-109 at Moda Center ... The Trail Blazers made 20 or more three- pointers for the eighth time this season, breaking a tie with Milwaukee for the third-most in the NBA ... Damian Lillard led Portland with 32 points (10-19 FG, 5-10 3-PT, 7-10 FT), four rebounds, five assists and three steals ... Robert Covington was 6-of-11 from 3-PT range, finishing with 18 points and seven boards ... CJ McCollum added 18 points (7-16 FG, 3-8 3-PT, 1-4 FT), two rebounds, seven assists and three steals ... Norman Powell had 12 points (5-15 FG, 2-7 3-PT), three rebounds, two assists and three steals ... Jusuf Nurkic had nine points, 11 rebounds and three assists ... Giannis Antetokounmpo led Milwaukee, tying a season- high with 47 points (18-21 FG, 11-13 FT) and 12 rebounds, two assists and three blocks ... Jrue Holiday added 22 points (9-14 FG, 2-6 3-PT, 2-2 FT) and 10 assists.

INJURY NOTES

Norman Powell (left big toe inflammation) is probable, Jusuf Nurkic (right knee inflammation) is questionable and F/C Zach Collins (left ankle stress fracture) is out for Thursday's game at Utah.

As for the Jazz, they have not yet released their injury report as Thursday’s game is the second night of a back-to-back.

BROADCAST NOTES

Thursday’s game can be seen locally on NBC Sports NW. The game can be heard on Rip City Radio 620 AM and on all of the stations of the Deschutes Brewery Trail Blazers Radio Network.

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