Jazz Look To Snap Losing Streak Versus Celtics
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz will look to snap their three-game losing streaks against the Boston Celtics Wednesday night in Salt Lake City. After a four-game winning streak to enter the All-Star break, the Jazz have emerged disoriented en route to three straight losses.
The Jazz hope that their lowest point is behind them after a 20 point drubbing at the hands of the lowly Phoenix Suns. The Jazz gave up their worst defensive performance of the year to Phoenix, allowing an uninspired 131 point outing from an inconsistent Suns roster.
Meanwhile, the Celtics will swing through Utah amid a four-game Western Conference road swing, having played in Portland on the front end of a back to back before facing the Jazz.
The Celtics own the third-best record in the Eastern Conference at 40-17 but lost game two of their west coast road trip to the Los Angeles Lakers, before beating the Portland Trailblazers Tuesday night.
Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, fresh off of his All-Star debut is fully recognizing his enormous potential after being drafted with the third overall pick of the 2017 NBA draft. Tatum is averaging a team-high 22.9 points per game while adding seven rebounds in just his third year in the league. The Duke product matched his season-high of 41 points against the Lakers in his team’s loss. Tatum is averaging 28.7 points per game in his last 10 appearances.
Boston is one of the league’s hottest teams, entering their matchup with the Jazz having won 10 of their last 12 outings, while the Jazz stumble into the matchup playing perhaps their worst basketball of the season.
The Jazz will hope to find an emotional spark that has been curiously absent since returning from the extended break with controversial former Jazzmen Gordon Hayward and Enes Kanter returning to Salt Lake City. Kanter famously requested a trade from the Jazz roster after being unhappy with his role, Hayward signed with the Celtics as a free agent after leading the Jazz to the second round of the playoffs in 2017.
Hayward is having a solid bounceback season for Boston, averaging just over 17 points, six rebounds, and four assists as he continues to re-establish himself on the basketball floor after a gruesome ankle injury sidelined him for nearly the entire 2017-18 NBA season.
The meeting marks the first matchup between the two teams this season, with the Jazz returning to Boston to complete the season series on March 6.
The Jazz must find a way to break the recent trend of collapsing as teams play a smaller five-man unit against the Rudy Gobert led roster. The Jazz have fallen into the trap of turning the ball over against the quicker units, leading open layups or three-point shots on the other end.
The Suns connected on 12 three-point attempts against the Jazz Monday night despite managing just 20 attempts on the evening.
The Jazz and Celtics will tip-off at 8:30 MT, the game will be broadcast on ESPN.
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