UTAH JAZZ

Jazz Return Home To Begin Homestand Against Nets

Mar 23, 2021, 5:27 PM | Updated: Mar 24, 2021, 11:26 am
James Harden of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)...
James Harden of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz return to Salt Lake City for the first game in a four-game homestand Wednesday against the Brooklyn Nets.

The Jazz have been well traveled over the last month, playing just one game at Vivint Arena since February 26, a 114-99 win over the Houston Rockets.

During the stretch, the Jazz played nine road games which they split 4-5. The Jazz will face the Nets in Utah before consecutive games against the Memphis Grizzlies, before finishing the homestand against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Nets meanwhile travel to Utah to open a three-game West Coast road trip without the services of Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving.

Jazz Can Carry Momentum Back To Utah

Despite playing .500 basketball over their last 10 games, the Jazz won the final two games of their east coast road trip and are looking to carry that momentum back to Utah.

After narrowly beating the Toronto Raptors on Friday, the Jazz steamrolled the Chicago Bulls Monday night 120-95. The win in Chicago looked remarkably similar to the team’s results during the first half of the season when they buried teams as they ascended to the top of the Western Conference standings.

Rudy Gobert nearly recorded a triple-double with 21 points, 10 rebounds, and nine blocked shots. Donovan Mitchell poured in 31 points, while Joe Ingles added 17 points on 6-8 shooting.

The team broke a streak of slow starts, outscoring Chicago 29-23 in the first quarter and led the Bulls by double-digits over the final two and a half quarters of the game.

Ingles is on a particularly hot shooting tear right now for the Jazz, averaging 23.3 points per game over his last three outings while knocking down 18 of his last 22 three-point attempts.

Nets Come To Utah Short-Handed

Though they own the second-best record in the conference, the Nets have established themselves as the favorites to emerge from the East.

Since acquiring James Harden in mid-January the Nets are 22-8 and own a 29-14 record overall.

Though the Nets roster may be the most talented in the league, they’ll be short-handed when they face the Jazz Wednesday night. Superstar Kevin Durant continues to miss time with a hamstring injury, while All-Star guard Kyrie Irving will miss all of the road trip as he attends to personal matters.

James Harden was listed was questionable with a sore neck heading into Tuesday night’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers after getting elbowed Sunday night in the Nets win over the Washington Wizards. The guard played in the game but is again listed as questionable facing the Jazz.

Harden is stringing together an MVP season since being traded to the Nets, averaging 25.4 points, 11.3 assists, and 8.8 rebounds.

Key Matchup

With neither Durant nor Irving in the lineup, the key matchup will pit Gobert against Nets center DeAndre Jordan. The last time these two teams faced off, Gobert was outplayed by Nets big man Jarrett Allen who was soon traded to the Cavaliers in the Harden deal.

Allen had 19 points and 18 rebounds on 8-9 shooting while Gobert managed just 10 points and 11 rebounds on 3-10 shooting in the Jazz 130-96 blowout loss.

Gobert will have to prove he can be more successful against the aging Jordan if the Jazz hope to win the opening game of their homestand.

Broadcast

The Jazz and Nets will tip-off at 8 pm MT, the game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN and locally on AT&T SportsNet.

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