The stars seem to align for the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Memphis Grizzlies, who won twice in Portland on April 23 and 25, beat Dallas 133-104 on Tuesday night. This created a tie for fifth place in the Western Conference between the Mavericks (40-29) and the Blazers (40-29), the latter holding the tiebreaker.

Dallas has the easiest remaining schedule with three games to go against losing teams. But the Blazers on Wednesday night will once again face a top-notch team minus the big stars.

Utah (50-19) will be without guards Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley Jr. for Wednesday’s game against Portland. Mitchell on April 8 scored 37 in a 123-103 Jazz victory over the Blazers.

The Blazers, who will get Carmelo Anthony back after missing two games with a sprained ankle, beat the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday while they were without LeBron James. On April 30, Portland won in Brooklyn when there were less Kevin Durant and James Harden.

Yet nothing in the NBA can be taken for granted. The Jazz won 127-120 over Denver on Friday. Utah is 8-5 since Mitchell came out on April 16 with a sprained right ankle, and 6-2 since Conley injured his hamstring on April 26.

Plus, the Utah Jazz are still favorites to win the game.

Still, the Blazers, bitten by the injury bug for much of the season, will certainly be helped by the sidelining of Mitchell and Conley.

Portland must find a way to slow down reserve goalie Jordan Clarkson, who scored 41 points in a loss to Golden State on Monday. He had 21 points and eight assists in the team’s recent victory over Denver and scored 30 in a recent victory over Spurs. Clarkson is averaging 18 points this season. He did not play against Portland on April 8.

Utah’s power lies in its defense, which ranks third in the defensive standings (109.1). The Jazz are fourth in three-point shooting percentage (39%). Utah kept Portland at 39.6% on shots on April 8 when the Blazers shot just 13 of 48-threes (27.2%). Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum combined to make just 6 of 22 threes.

The Lakers, seventh (39-30), won Tuesday night the 101-99 victory over New York to get closer to Portland.


What: Trail Blazers (40-29) at Jazz (50-19), 6.30 p.m., Wednesday

Or: Vivint Arena, Salt Lake City.

TV channel: NBC Sports Northwest (in Portland: Comcast 37/737). ESPN (35/735).

Radio: Rip City Radio (KPOJ 620 AM)

How to watch the live stream online: You can watch this game live with your cable company ID, or you can watch the match live for FREE with FuboTV (free try). If you already have a cable plan, you can watch the game live on NBC Sports NW with the connection details of your cable provider.


Disseminate: Jazz by 4.5 | Total: NA

Moneyline: Jackets (+148) | Jazz (-182).


Jackets: F Nassir Petit (lower back, spasms) is questionable; F / C Zach collins (left ankle, stress fracture) came out.

Jazz: g Mike Conley (right hamstrings; tightness), G Donovan mitchell (right ankle; sprain) and F Juwan morgan (right heel; pain) came out.

FOLLOWING (blazers schedule)

The Blazers play in Phoenix on Thursday before returning home to host Denver on Sunday.

– Aaron Fentress | [email protected] | @AaronJFentress (Twitter), @AaronJFentress (Instagram), @AaronFentress (Facebook).

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