Jazz, Heat Battle With Battered Backcourts

Nov 6, 2021, 11:59 AM
Jimmy Butler - Utah Jazz - Miami Heat...
Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat dunks against the Utah Jazz during the second quarter at American Airlines Arena on February 26, 2021 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz will face the Miami Heat in the second game of their three-game road trip with both teams battling injuries in their backcourt.

Jazz All-Star Donovan Mitchel is listed as questionable ahead of Saturday’s game as he recovers from a rolled ankle suffered against the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday.

New Miami addition Kyle Lowry suffered an ankle injury in the Heat’s loss to the Boston Celtics on Thursday and is also listed as questionable for Saturday’s game.

Jazz Look To Keep Top Record In West

The Jazz sit at 7-1 with the top record in the Western Conference. The Jazz started their road trip off with a win over the Atlanta Haws despite playing with the services of Mitchell on Thursday.

After a brutal first half in which the Jazz managed just 39 points, the team’s offense exploded thanks to 25 second half points from sixth man Jordan Clarkson in the 116-98 win.

The Jazz shot better than 40 percent from the three-point line for the first time this season as a team connecting on 17-41 attempts. The shooting barrage was fueled by Clarkson who knocked down four of the team’s 12 second half makes.

Like Mitchell, starting forward Royce O’Neale is also listed as questionable against the Heat after suffering a sprained ankle against the Kings earlier in the week. O’Neale played 34 minutes and scored nine points in the Jazz win over the Hawks.

Heat Look To Avoid Two-Game Skid

The Heat had been the best team in the Eastern Conference prior to Thursday’s blowout loss to the Celtics.

Miami managed just 78 points in the loss while shooting 34 percent from the floor and 22 percent from the three-point line.

All-Star Jimmy Butler scored 20 points but only three Heat players finished in double-figures as the loss snapped Miami’s five-game winning streak.

Lowry played 28 minutes against Boston before leaving the game with the injury.

Battle Of High-Scoring Sixth Men

The matchup between the Jazz and Heat will feature two players in contention for the Sixth Man of the Year award this season.

The Jazz’s Clarkson is the reigning award winner but had been in a major funk to open the season. The guard was shooting just 33 percent from the floor and 20 percent from the three-point line prior to his breakout performance against the Hawks.

Clarkson had missed 23 consecutive three-point attempts over two and a half games before catching fire in the third quarter in Atlanta.

Tyler Herro meanwhile has returned to form after a down season last year in Miami. The guard looked like a budding star during the Heat’s run to the Finals in the Orlando bubble but struggled to match that production last year.

Herro was averaging 22.4 points per game on 47 percent shooting from the floor and 40 percent from the three-point line before Thursday’s six point outing against Boston. The third-year guard had scored at least 20 points in five of the Heat’s first seven games prior to his single-digit outing in his last game.

Heat And Jazz Broadcast

The Jazz and Heat will tip-off at 5:30 pm MT, the game can be heard on 97.5 FM and 1280 AM The Zone Sports Network. The game will be televised on AT&T SportsNet.

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