The Brooklyn Nets travel to Salt Lake City in search of a win to end their slump. Meanwhile, the Utah Jazz want to build another win streak after halting their own losing skid.
Catch this game live on Saturday, February 5, at 10 AM, Manila time
Away: Brooklyn Nets (29-22/17-9 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: James Harden
- SG: Kyrie Irving
- SF: Bruce Brown
- PF: Kessler Edwards
- C: Nicolas Claxton
Steve Nash and his Nets are still searching their way out of a dark tunnel, as they haven’t won in six games. Winless so far in their five-game road trip, the Nets suffered a 112-101 setback at the hands of the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center Thursday. The absence of Kevin Durant has been huge for the Nets, who are averaging 111.6 points per game this season but have only put up 109.5 over their past six outings. Apart from Durant, the Nets will also continue to miss the services of LaMarcus Aldridge and Joe Harris, as both vets are still nursing ankle injuries.
That being said, the Nets have the luxury of rolling out a lineup that features two superstars against the Jazz, with James Harden and Kyrie Irving both available. Harden is eyeing a return to form after sputtering in the Sacramento game in which he went 2/11 from the field for four points. He did drop 12 dimes, but turned the ball over six times for an ugly assist-to-turnover ratio. Nicolas Claxton, meanwhile, hopes to have success against the Jazz’s Rudy Gobert-less frontcourt after scoring 23 points and grabbing 11 boards versus the Kings. The total has hit the Under in four of the Nets’ past four Saturday (Manila) games.
Home: Utah Jazz (31-21/16-10 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Mike Conley
- SG: Donovan Mitchell
- SF: Jordan Clarkson (questionable)
- PF: Royce O’Neale
- C: Hassan Whiteside (questionable)
It hasn’t also been all that rosy for the Jazz lately, but unlike Brooklyn, they have finally made their return to the win column with a 108-104 home win against the Denver Nuggets. That Thursday victory snapped Utah’s five-game losing streak and gave the Jazz something good to feel good about heading into the matchup against the careening Nets. Plus, they will be getting Donovan Mitchell back after clearing the NBA’s concussion protocols.
However, the Jazz will continue to miss the services of Gobert (calf) and could also be without Jordan Clarkson (knee) and Hassan Whiteside (back), with both players currently labeled questionable after sitting out the Nuggets game. Nevertheless, having Mitchell on the court is terrific news for Utah. Mitchell leads the Jazz this season with 25.5 points per game. Mitchell and Mike Conley can take advantage of Brooklyn’s leaky defense that had just been carved up by Sacramento’s guards. The Jazz have been a tough cookie to crack for Brooklyn when the matchup is played in Salt Lake City. Utah, which is averaging 113.4 points, is 8-2 straight up and 7-3 ATS in its last 10 home games against the Nets, dating back to 2012.
Spread: The Nets got the message after the loss to Sacramento. Look for the Nets (+5.5) to make a rare cover in Utah. (note: James Harden was listed as unavailable in a last-minute announcement)
Over/Under: A James Harden explosion could be in order Saturday plus the Jazz are getting Mitchell back. Taking the Over (227.5) here.