UTAH JAZZ

Gobert Faces Tough Challenge Against Denver’s Jokic

Jan 23, 2019, 5:26 PM | Updated: 6:41 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz are looking to rebound from their loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday, when they face the Denver Nuggets at Vivint Smart Home Arena.

Portland snapped Utah’s six-game winning streak with a 109-104 win in Salt Lake City. Donovan Mitchell is on a hot streak for the Jazz, he has scored 24 points or more in the last 9 games and has reached 30 points or more in 4 of those 9 contests. He had 36 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists in the loss to the Trail Blazers.

The Wednesday night match up will mark the second of four meetings between the Jazz and Nuggets. Denver won the first meeting at home 103-88 on November 3. Jae Crowder led the team with 21 points off the bench, Donovan Mitchell added 16 points. Gary Harris led the Nuggets with 20 points, Jamal Murray chipped in 19 points and Paul Millsap had 13 points.

Battle Of The Bigs

One of the keys to tonight’s game is the battle of the big men, Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors against seven-footer Nikola Jokic, who is on a roll in the last ten games. He is averaging 25 points, nearly 11 rebounds and 8 assists per game during that stretch. On the season, Jokic is putting up 19.6 points, 10 rebounds, 7.7 assists and 1.3 steals per game.

Gobert is having a great month in January as well, averaging a league-best 15 rebounds per game to go with 14.5 points and 2.1 blocks per game, including the first Jazz player to record back-to-back 20-plus rebound games since Karl Malone in 1988.

In January, Favors has averaged 12 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game in 25.1 minutes.

Denver Right Behind Golden State

The Nuggets are currently 31-14 on the season and have won their last two games and 10 of their last 13. They are one game behind the defending champion Golden State Warriors for the top spot in the Western Conference standings.

Jamal Murray is having a breakout season in 2018-19 with 18.8 points per game while shooting 43 percent from the field and 36 percent from downtown. Gary Harris is chipping in 15.5 points per game and former Jazzman Paul Millsap is posting 12.8 points and 6.7 rebounds per game, he has missed 8 games this season due to injury.

Former Jazz first round pick Trey Lyles in the 2015 NBA Draft is on the Nuggets roster. He is putting up 9.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game while shooting 42 percent from the field and just 25 percent from the three-point line.

Tip-off is at 8:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN.

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