SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Jazz freshman-year forward Lauri Markkanen was full of upsets for Utah as he bid for the first All-Star selection of his career.
The Jazz (25-25) host the Portland Trail Blazers (22-25) on Wednesday, January 25 at Vivint Arena. It is the second of three games between the two franchises this season.
🇫🇮 𝟯𝟳 🇫🇮 straight games with a three for @MarkkanenLauri
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) January 26, 2023
After missing his first two tries of the evening, Markkanen searched for Malik Beasley before going beyond the arc to catch a pass from Mike Conley. The Finn, as jazz fans call him, raised and hit a three for the 37th time in a row.
The three set a new NBA record for seven feet.
RELATED: Jazz Look Continues Hot Streak in Portland
Markkanen’s seven points in the first quarter lead the Jazz. He also has two rebounds and a steal in nine minutes of play.
Utah leads 31-19 over the Trail Blazers after one quarter.
Jazz Hitting Stride Before All Star Break
Despite trade rumors of multiple players on the roster and fatigue ahead of the All-Star break, the Jazz are playing some of their best basketball games of the season.
The Jazz are 5-2 in their last seven games and have the fourth-best net rating in the NBA across the stretch.
🎷 Jazz on the road tonight vs @trailblazer
Listen live at 8: https://t.co/OExdEAiY8o
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) January 25, 2023
While the Jazz have the fourth-best offensive rating in the NBA this season, it’s their defensive improvement that’s sustained them over the past few weeks.
The Jazz have seen their defensive rating rise from 25th this year to ninth-best in the league during their recent hot streak.
RELATED: Kessler climbs to the top of the NBA rookie rankings
Kelly Olynyk is unavailable for the eighth straight game due to an ankle injury he sustained against the Memphis Grizzlies on Jan. 8.
Trail Blazers desperate for wins
After playing over .500 basketball for the first three months of the season, the Trail Blazers had a miserable January.
Portland is only 4-8 since the start of the new year and has slipped from eighth in the West to 12th, three games behind .500.
The Trail Blazers are in the midst of an important six-game home standoff that got off to a rocky start, losing two of their first three games.
The NBA Rankings through January 24th!
📲 https://t.co/6FlAliik3X pic.twitter.com/McVJKTZcvd
— NBA (@NBA) January 25, 2023
The recent downtrend comes at a difficult time for the Blazers, who are under significant pressure to determine the direction of their franchise before the trade deadline.
The team could be buyers by deadline, looking to close the gap between themselves and the rest of the Western Conference playoff contenders, or start exploring options to begin a rebuild.
Utah Jazz vs. Portland Trail Blazers broadcast
RELATED: Subscribers Can Now Watch Jazz Games on the AT&T SportsNet App
The Portland Trail Blazers and Portland Trail Blazers game will be televised and can be heard on AT&T SportsNet 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. It can also be streamed DirectTV stream and Football TV.