The Phoenix Suns and the Utah Jazz play an all-important Western Conference contest Wednesday night at 10 pm EST at Phoenix Suns Arena in Phoenix, Arizona. The Jazz are currently favored by 2-points, down from 3.5-points at opening, while the total stands at 225.5-points.
The Jazz were unable to continue their current winning streak as they fell by 8-points on the road to the Dallas Mavericks Monday night as they were not able to overcome a 3rd-quarter scoring burst by the road team and were handed their 12th loss of the year. The solid defense was torched for 23 treys in the contest while allowing 47% shooting to the Mavericks. On the other hand, the offense for the Jazz were less than stellar for 3-quarters as the team made just 42% from the floor along with 27% from long-range. Mike Conley led the way with 28 points while accounting for half of Utah's 12 3-pointers while Donovan Mitchell struggled missing 17 of 23 shots from the field along with 0-8 from deep. The Jazz also failed to cover as 5.5-point favorites and are just 1-3 ATS in their last 4 games.
The Suns enter this contest winners of 6-straight after taking out the Houston Rockets by 3 on the road; However, after beginning the final period with a 9-point lead, they had to fight off a late run by the Rockets en route to their 34th win of the season. Devin Booker paced the team with 36-points as he went 6-8 from long-range while Deandre Ayton and Chris Paul each recorded double-doubles. Mikal Bridges also posted 20-points as the Suns shot a stellar 51% as a team while nailing 18 treys (49%). However, despite forcing 18 turnovers, the team allowed over 50% shooting to the struggling Rockets as well. Despite the win, Phoenix did not cover as 14-point favorites and, like the Jazz, have struggled in this area of late failing to cover in 4 of their last 7.
Phoenix will take the floor seeking their 3rd-straight win over the Jazz; However, Utah has been dominant on the road versus the Suns picking up outright wins in 4-straight at Phoenix Suns Arena. And while the Jazz are 6-4 ATS in their last 10 meetings, the Suns are 3-0 against the number in their last 3 meetings, overall.
Jazz end 9-game win streak to MavericksThroughout the season, the Jazz have been able to put points on the board in an efficient way as they are ranked 3rd in points per game while shooting 47% from the floor (14th). Most importantly, their defense has been able to limit scoring opportunities for their opponents as well ranking in the top 5 in points allowed along with field goal and 3-point percentage. However, they were a step slower on the defensive end versus Dallas while their offense posted just 103-points in the loss. Still, they are currently 2.5-games ahead of the Suns for 1st in the West.
"There’s gonna be games like this, and they’re great challenges and great lessons for us, said Conley to Clutchpoints.com. We have to find ways to win anyway, we have to find ways to push through. We had sparks of that. … We have to manufacture ways to win when the ball isn’t going in." Conley has posted 20+ in 2 of his last 3 games while racking up 6 steals during this time. Mitchell will certainly be seeking to get back on track after a less than stellar shooting night.
Despite leading the team with 23 in their last outing versus the Suns, however, Mitchell shot just 9-23 from the floor along with 3-8 from deep with 3 turnovers in their 11-point loss on December 31st. Conley poured in 16 points on 5-13 shooting (4-8 3FG) while Rudy Gobert, who finished with 14 and 15 versus the Mavericks for his 5th double-double in 5 outings, scored 18 points while grabbing 14 boards on 7-9 FG. Jordan Clarkson posted 12 off the bench and has continued to provide fire-power off the bench, despite shooting 42% on the year.
In all, Utah's defense gave up 49% to the Suns along with 52% from long-range (17 treys) as Phoenix went wild from the perimeter in the 2nd-period to outscore the Jazz 32-18 en route to the win.
Suns continue to light up the scoreboardPhoenix is averaging slightly less than 115-points on the year; Yet, they have increased this average to 131 in their last 4 outings. A huge reason for their offensive success continues to be the play of Booker, who is shooting 50% from the floor along with 37% from deep while posting 30 or more in 4 of his last 5 starts. Paul has been on a tear of late as well posted double-doubles in his last 3 while averaging 12 assists per during this time. Important to note that the point guard has also been active on the defensive end posting 7 steals in his last 3 starts, including 4 versus the Rockets.
Ayton was able to rebound from a 9-point, 7-rebound performance in the team's 37-point home win over the Oklahoma City Thunder to post 27-points, 11-rebounds, along with 2 blocks versus Houston, his 3rd double-double in 5 starts. However, Ayton was bottled up by Gobert in their most recent matchup versus the Jazz finishing with 4-points on 2-8 shooting. Paul also struggled missing 9 of 13 shots while turning the ball over 3 times to end with 11 points and 8 dimes. On the other hand, Booker led the way with 25 and 7 assists on 10-17 FG while Bridges and Jae Crowder each scored 16 while combining for 8 treys as their play was certainly the difference-maker.
Important to add that despite their ability to score the basketball, the Suns are posting just 97-points in their last 5 meetings versus the Jazz. In fact, the team has failed to post 100-points in each of their last 4-meetings.
- Suns are 4-1 ATS in last 5 home games.
- Suns are 3-1 ATS in last 4 meetings.
- Jazz are 1-3 ATS in last 4 games.
- Jazz are 1-3 ATS in last 4 road games.
- Jazz are 1-6 ATS in last 7 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.