Monday, January 21 at 9:00 PM ET
Vivint Smart Home Arena
Coverage: NBA League Pass
The Portland Trail Blazers visit the Utah Jazz on Monday night, looking for their first win against them this season. The Jazz have been dominant against the Trail Blazers this season. The teams first met on December 21 and the Jazz prevailed 120-90, giving the Trail Blazers their worst home loss in 14 years. Damian Lillard had 19 points for the Trail Blazers but they shot just 40.2 percent from the field (35-for-87) and 31.3 percent from 3-point range (10-for-32) and their 14 turnovers led to 21 points for the Jazz.
Donovan Mitchell scored just three points on 1 of 10 shooting in 28 minutes but Ricky Rubio stepped up for Utah with 24 points and eight assists while Kyle Korver and Jae Crowder had 18 and 16 points respectively and combined to shoot 7-for-14 from 3-point range.
Rubio will miss Monday's game and with him, Dante Exum and Raul Neto out in the last few games, Donovan Mitchell has been the starting point guard and he's been playing incredibly well, averaging 29.4 points, 5.4 assists and 3.8 rebounds on 50.0 percent shooting in 33.6 minutes over his last five games. Mitchell will run the Utah offense on Monday and his matchup with Damian Lillard is one of the keys to this game.
Jazz win on Christmas Day
The Trail Blazers and the Jazz clashed on Christmas Day in Utah and after leading by 12 at halftime, the Jazz never looked back and won 117-96. Damian Lillard and Donovan Mitchell were once again the bright spots, Lillard led Portland with 20 points while Mitchell finished with 19 for Utah but the difference in the game was that the Jazz supporting cast was phenomenal, with six players besides Mitchell scoring in double figures, while all of Portland's players except Lillard had 12 points or less.
This will be an awesome game between two teams that are playing very well, as the Jazz have won their last six games while the Trail Blazers are coming off back-to-back home wins against the Cavaliers and Pelicans.
Mitchell and Lillard will run the point for their respective teams and we can expect them to put up solid numbers but the Trail Blazers have a great chance to win if their bench comes ready to play, particularly Jake Layman.
Layman on fire
Layman's contributions in the first two meetings against the Jazz were practically non-existent, he had just three points (all from the free-throw line) in six minutes on December 21 and zero points in three minutes on December 25 but he's averaging 14.6 points in his last five games, shooting 62.0 percent from the field and 42.1 percent from beyond the arc in 22.2 minutes and he was particularly impressive against the Cavaliers and Pelicans, scoring 18 and 20 points respectively.
The Portland Trail Blazers are:
5-1 ATS in their last six games overall
5-1 ATS in their last six games after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game
24-9-3 ATS in their last 36 games following a straight up win of more than 10 points
The Utah Jazz are:
2-6-1 ATS in their last nine games following a straight up win of more than 10 points
2-6 ATS in their last eight games against Northwest Division opponents
0-5-1 ATS in their last six Monday games
Jake Layman's 20 points with four 3-pointers in the second quarter against the Pelicans made a difference against the Pelicans and I see the Trail Blazers looking to get him involved against the Jazz, which would give them a great chance to at least keep this game close.
NBA Pick: Trail Blazers +5 (-110) at Jazz Sports
Check odds here: http://bit.ly/jazzsportsON