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Jazz Begin Tough Stretch Against Dallas In Afternoon Clash

Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell #45 loses control of the ball as he's guarded by Golden State Warriors guard Jacob Evans #10 in the first quarter of their NBA game at the Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif., on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Jane Tyska/Digital First Media/East Bay Times via Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – After a stretch of games where the Jazz won 13 of 14, they will begin a tough stretch filled with playoff teams, starting at home against the Dallas Mavericks.

Currently, the Jazz have sole possession of second place in the Western Conference with a 31-13 record. They have won three straight and are 17-3 at home this season. Utah is 4.5 games behind the Los Angeles Lakers for the top spot in the west.

Dallas isn’t too far behind the Jazz, sitting in fifth place in the conference and are 3 games behind Utah in the standings with a 28-16 record and have won 5 of their last 6 games. The Mavericks are very good on the road, holding a 15-5 record away from Dallas.

It’s the first of three meetings this season between Utah and Dallas. The next two meetings will be in the Lone-Star state. The Jazz won three of the four meetings last season. Dallas’ only victory was by 50 points at home on November 14, 2018.

After the Jazz face the Mavericks, they will have 10 of their next 12 games against teams currently in the playoffs. Of those 12 games, five are on the road.

Jazz Rolling On Both Ends

Rudy Gobert is having a fantastic season as he is not only in the conversation for his third NBA Defensive Player of the Year award, but also to make his first All-Star game. He is averaging 15.6 points, 14.5 rebounds (2nd in NBA), and 1.9 blocks per game (7th in NBA).

The Jazz are currently ranked No. 8 in the NBA with a 106.1 defensive rating. They are not too far behind the Milwaukee Bucks, who have a league-best 101.2 rating on the defensive end. Utah is seventh in the league with a 111.7 offensive rating. Dallas is first in the NBA with a rating of 116.4.

Donovan Mitchell is leading the Jazz in scoring at 24.7 points per game, along with 4.2 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game. He has scored over 20 points in the last five games.

Mavericks Are Playing Well

Second year guard Luka Doncic has quickly turned into a superstar with a phenomenal season. He is averaging 29.1 points, 9.6 rebounds and 9 assists per game. Those numbers have led to him being voted by the fans, media and players as a starter in the upcoming NBA All-Star game.

His sidekick Kristaps Porzingis is in his first season with Dallas after being traded from the New York Knicks in the middle of last season. In 2019-20, Porzingis is recording 17.1 points, 9.2 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per contest.

Dallas has two other players averaging double figures in scoring, including Tim Hardaway Jr. with 14.3 points, along with 2.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists, and Seth Curry’s 10.6 points per game average.

The Mavericks are third in the NBA with 116.8 points per game and with a plus-7 point differential.

The Jazz and Mavericks will tip-off at 3 p.m. on Saturday afternoon at Vivint Smart Home Arena. The game will be televised on AT&T SportsNet.

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