Jazz Can’t Overlook Last Place Suns
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – After losing two straight and three of the last five games, the Utah Jazz can’t overlook their road contest against the last place Phoenix Suns.
The Jazz are 37-29 on the year and are currently in eighth place in the western conference standings.
Phoenix has won four of their last five games, with wins over the Milwaukee Bucks and the Golden State Warriors, but are 16-52 on the season and in last place in the west.
Utah has faced the Suns once this season with a 116-88 win in Salt Lake City on February 6.
Suns Playing Well Recently
In their four wins, the Suns beat the Lakers, Bucks and Knicks at home and the Warriors on the road. Their lone loss was by seven points in Portland. Devin Booker has been fantastic in the last three games, scoring 23 points or more in every game.
He had 41 points against New York, 23 in their loss to Portland and dropped 37 in Oakland against the defending champs. The third year pro guard from Kentucky is averaging 25.1 points per game this season.
The last two games have been good for No. 1 overall pick Deandre Ayton, who had 21 points and 8 rebounds against the Trail Blazers and chipped in 18 points and 9 boards against the Warriors.
On the season, Ayton is averaging 16.6 points and 10.3 rebounds per game.
In the first meeting with the Jazz, Booker did not play due to an injury. Ayton had 20 points and 9 rebounds, while Josh Jackson led the team with 27 points.
It’s the first time this season that the Jazz will play the Suns in Phoenix, seeing former assistant and current Suns head coach Igor Kokoskov in his new home.
Jazz Struggling Lately
Utah won four of their first five games coming off of the All-Star break, including four straight wins. Since then, the Jazz have lost four of their last five. They lost to New Orleans and Oklahoma City at home and was defeated by Memphis on the road. The only win during that stretch was in New Orleans.
Before the struggles, the Jazz had big wins at home against the Clippers and Bucks, while knocking off the Nuggets in Denver.
The difference in the three losses is their perimeter shooting. They went 13-for-38 from downtown for 36 percent against the Pelicans at home, 18-of-48 for 37 percent against Memphis – 48 attempts is a new franchise record. The Jazz connected on just 7-of-22 attempts from beyond the arc in their most recent loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, while also hitting just 36 percent from the field.
In their first meeting against the Suns, the Jazz made 50 percent of their field goals, 39 percent of their threes and attempted 32 free-throws. Every starter scored in double figures, led by Donovan Mitchell with 21 points.
The game will begin at 8 p.m. on Wednesday and will be broadcast on AT&T SportsNet.