Jazz Look Extend League-Best Win Streak Against Raptors
Mar 8, 2020, 4:34 PM
(Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz host the Toronto Raptors Monday night as they look to extend their league-best five-game win streak. The Jazz return home from an undefeated four-game road trip, appearing to have once again found their footing after a rough start to the second half of the season.
The Raptors will face the Jazz on the second night of back to back games after playing in Sacramento Sunday night. Toronto has won two straight games after a three-game losing streak against the Milwaukee Bucks, Charlotte Hornets, and Denver Nuggets. Utah is the final stop of a five-game West Coast road trip for the Raptors.
Two teams last met in December with the Raptors winning a decisive 130-110 game in Toronto. The Raptors led by 40 at halftime in what was likely the Jazz worst performance of the season.
An absolute CLINIC pic.twitter.com/g2SzAlMeBj
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) December 1, 2019
During the recent win streak, the Jazz have once again found their three-point shooting stroke. The team is shooting 39.6 percent from beyond the arc while connecting on better than 15 attempts per game.
On the defensive end, the Jazz are allowing opponents to shoot just 34.8 percent from three, good for ninth-best int he NBA during the stretch.
Mike coming out swingin' 💪 pic.twitter.com/qjau5JzVCJ
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) March 8, 2020
The Raptors own the second-best record in the Eastern Conference despite their recent struggles. Both the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat have had problems of their own since returning from the All-Star break. Both teams have a .500 record over their last 10 games allowing the Raptors to preserve their second-best Eastern Conference ranking.
The Jazz moved ahead of the Houston Rockets during their recent stretch but would face their recent postseason rivals if the playoffs started today. The Rockets own the fifth-best record in the West 1.5 games behind the Jazz.
With the Los Clippers loss to the Los Angeles Lakers Sunday, the Jazz moved just two games behind the second-seeded Clippers and sit just one game behind the Denver Nuggets for the third seed.
Utah’s matchup with the Raptors represents the first of six consecutive games against likely playoff teams or playoff hopefuls. The Jazz will face the Raptors, Oklahoma City Thunder, New Orleans Pelicans, and Memphis Grizzlies before back to back games against the Lakers. While home-court advantage would be a strong reward for the Jazz after and up and down regular season, avoiding the Rockets in the first round might hold more value starting a playoff series at home.
The Cavaliers beat the Denver Nuggets.
Jazz one game back of the Nuggets for the three seed.
— Ben Anderson (@BensHoops) March 8, 2020
The Rockets own the 11th easiest schedule remaining according to tankathon.com while the Jazz face the ninth toughest schedule the rest of the way. Of the Western Conference teams vying for home-court advantage in the first round, the Clippers have the sixth-easiest remaining schedule while the Nuggets have the fourth toughest.
The Jazz and Raptors tip-off at 7 p.m. MST, the game will be broadcast on AT&T SportsNet.
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