Blazers, Jazz hit Boise on Friday night

clangrill@idahostatesman.comOctober 11, 2013 

The Portland Trail Blazers play home games at the Moda Center, which holds about 21,000 fans. More than 19,000 fans watch the Utah Jazz at Energy Solutions Arena. The setting will be a little different for the two teams when they square off in a preseason contest at CenturyLink Arena in Downtown Boise. The game starts at 7 p.m., and officials are hoping for a crowd of about 6,000.

TICKETS

As of Thursday, there were limited single seats ($20) and approximately 200 standing-room only tickets ($10) available. For availability, call 388-4667.

TEAMS

The Jazz (43-39 last year) won their first preseason game Tuesday, defeating the Warriors 101-78. The Trail Blazers (33-49) dropped their first two contests this week, losing to the Clippers 89-81 and Suns 104-98.

ATMOSPHERE

The Blazers are sending a full production crew to Boise, including their mascot, Blaze the Trail Cat, and the Blazer Dancers. Merchandise for both teams will be on sale.

PORTLANDPLAYERS TO WATCH

• LaMarcus Aldridge, F: The two-time All-Star was the ninth-leading scorer in the NBA last season. He has been nursing a hip injury, and missed the preseason opener, but scored 10 points in 13 minutes Wednesday against the Suns.

• Damian Lillard, G: The Weber State product was the Rookie of the Year last season (19.0 points, 6.5 assists per game). He was the fourth player to win unanimously, joining Blake Griffin (2011), David Robinson (1990) and Ralph Sampson (1984).

• Robin Lopez, C: The 7-footer was acquired in a three-team trade with New Orleans and Sacramento. Lopez averaged 11.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.56 blocked shots in 82 starts last season with the Hornets (now Pelicans).

UTAH PLAYERS TO WATCH

• Trey Burke, G: The rookie out of Michigan was the NCAA National Player of the Year last season. The ninth-overall pick in this year’s draft struggled in the summer league (1-for-19 shooting), but scored 12 points and dished out three assists in Utah’s preseason win.

• Derrick Favors, PF: With the departure of Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap, Favors is expected to handle the scoring load for the Jazz. The 6-foot-10 inside force was the No. 3 overall draft pick in 2010 and averaged 9.4 points and 7.1 rebounds per game last year.

• Gordon Hayward, F: The fourth-year pro led Butler to the school’s first Final Four and championship game as a sophomore in 2010. Hayward was Utah’s third-leading scorer last season (behind Jefferson and Millsap).

IDAHO STAMPEDE CONNECTION

• Boise’s NBA Development League team is affiliated with the Trail Blzers, and is putting on the game on its homecourt.

• Justin Holiday played for the Stampede last season, averaging 17.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.4 steals in 47 games before earning a call-up to the 76ers in March. The small forward is with the Jazz this season, a long shot to make the roster.

“It’s crazy. I started in Idaho, got called up, and now I'm going back there,” Holiday said. “Hopefully I can make this team and be a part of it, because I think we’re really going to do some good things this year.’’

Holiday had 3 points, an assist and a rebound in 5 minutes against the Warriors on Tuesday.

“It's going to be fun to be in that arena again,” Holiday said. “It will be comfortable, because I’ve played well there a few times. It will bring back some good memories.”

Chris Langrill: 377-6424

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