For the second time in three days, the Suns and the Jazz will see each other’s faces. Phoenix won the first meeting at home, but can they do it again at Salt Lake City? The Jazz have lost their last two games and would love to get back into the win column at the expense of Phoenix.
Catch this game live on Thursday, January 27, at 11 AM, Manila time
Away: Phoenix Suns (37-9/18-4 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Chris Paul
- SG: Devin Booker
- SF: Mikal Bridges
- PF: Cam Johnson
- C: JaVale McGee
It was not easy, but the Suns got the job done against the severely undermanned Jazz team in Tuesday’s 115-109 home win. Chris Paul and Devin Booker carried Phoenix, as the backcourt duo combined for 50 points. Paul also had nine rebounds and 14 assists in 40 minutes. Deandre Ayton missed the Jazz game as he continues to recover from a right ankle injury, but with the Jazz also without Rudy Gobert, the tandem of JaVale McGee and Bismack Biyombo was able to hold the fort and even exceeded expectations, especially Biyombo who finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds.
Phoenix, which has now won seven games in a row, could also be without versatile forward Jae Crowder (wrist contusion) again after he missed Tuesday’s meeting with Utah. However, Cam Johnson seems to be up to the task of covering up for the vet’s absence. Johnson stepped up against Utah and excellently played the role of a tertiary offensive source for the Suns, as he finished with 20 points and went 5/8 from the 3-point region. The Suns, who are averaging 112.5 points per game this season on 47.6 FG%, have covered the spread in their last two visits to Salt Lake City.
Home: Utah Jazz (30-18/15-9 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Mike Conley
- SG: Joe Ingles
- SF: Bojan Bogdanovic
- PF: Rudy Gay
- C: Hassan Whiteside
Utah might be the most balanced team out there in the NBA in terms of results, regardless of location. The Jazz are exactly .500 in games played in Salt Lake City and away from their stomping grounds. The Jazz can also be lauded for being competitive against the raging Phoenix side despite missing a ton of key players. Utah didn’t have six of the team’s top-nine scorers in that game, with Donovan Mitchell, Bojan Bogdanovic, Joe Ingles, Mike Conley, and Royce O’Neal all absent. Mitchell and Gobert have been ruled out of Thursday’s game, while Ingles and Conley are no longer on Utah’s injury report.
In any case, the Jazz still have Jordan Clarkson healthy, and he showed his ability to take over when he led his team with 22 points in the loss to the Suns. And even though plenty of Utah’s best scorers were absent, the Jazz kept themselves within striking distance of Phoenix for the most part of the game by shooting well from deep – like they always do. The Jazz, who are making 14.7 threes per game on 36.3 3FG%, went 14/31 against the Suns, with Clarkson sinking four treys. The total has hit the Under in four of Utah’s last five games overall.
Spread: Utah beat the spread as two-digit underdogs against Utah on Tuesday, but the Jazz won’t be as lucky in the rematch. Utah has not covered in 10 home games since December 16’s win vs. the Los Angeles Clippers. Look for the Suns (-4.5) to continue that horrible Utah trend.
Over/Under: The Jazz’s offense regresses this time after managing 109 points on Tuesday despite missing their top scorers. Take the Under (220.5) here.