Blazers seek improvement, host Jazz

( - The Portland Trail Blazers will try to get back on track Tuesday night when they return to the northwest to face the Utah Jazz at the Moda Center.

The Blazers have dropped three in a row and eight of their last 10. Portland has fallen into a virtual tie for fifth place in the Western Conference standings.

The Trail Blazers completed an 0-3 road trip with a 95-88 loss on Saturday to the Milwaukee Bucks.

Wesley Matthews and Damian Lillard each scored 19 points apiece for Portland. LaMarcus Aldridge added a double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds, but no other Blazers player scored in double figures.

"They kind of set the tone with their defense from the start," Blazers head coach Terry Stotts said. "We were playing from behind most of the night."

The Bucks took a 76-65 lead into the final quarter, but Milwaukee padded the cushion. O.J. Mayo opened the fourth with a layup and a 3-pointer to increase Milwaukee's lead to 16 points. Jerryd Bayless and Jared Dudley each hit triples and jumpers during a 10-2 run to make it a 91-71 contest with 7:16 to play.

The Bucks led comfortably the rest of the way.

The Blazers host the Phoenix Suns on Thursday, then visit the Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets over the weekend.

The Jazz put the brakes on a two-game losing streak last time out in a pretty shocking manner. Utah knocked off the Golden State Warriors, 110-100, at home on Friday night.

Gordon Hayward's career game led the way for the Jazz. He finished with 26 in this one to go along with a career-high 15 rebounds and six assists. The Jazz improved to 12-10 on the season when Hayward scores at least 20 points, compared to 5-20 when he nets 19 or fewer.

"We all just came ready to play," said Hayward. "We were all extremely focused."

Utah also got a boost from its reserves, who had just eight fewer points between them than the starters. Trevor Booker scored 17 points, Trey Burke had 15 with seven assists and Rudy Gobert had 10 points and 10 boards for his sixth double-double in January. The young 7-footer had just two double-doubles in his career before this month.

Derrick Favors added 15 points, while Joe Ingles chipped in 10. Enes Kanter grabbed 10 rebounds.

This is the first meeting of the season between the Northwest Division rivals. The Trail Blazers swept last season's four games and the two teams split the last six games in Portland.