The Utah Jazz continue their quest to close out the season strong and reach the 50 win mark against the Sacramento Kings tonight. These two teams come into this Friday night tilt with different reasons for wanting to win, but both teams wanting to win just the same. Although the playoff spots have already been claimed in the Western Conference, there is still drama and a lot on the line as these two well coached teams look to make a statement as the regular season winds down.
“To finish .500 would be a blessing for us……..it shows we are moving in the right direction,” Sacramento shooting guard Buddy Hield said in a recent postgame interview.
The Kings sit at 39-40 coming into this game and they will be a challenge for the short-handed Jazz. After already beating the Jazz at Vivint Smart Home arena this year back on November 21st, the Kings have shown that they are a tough matchup for the Jazz this year, and they will be confident that they can come in and play spoiler to a team that is looking to push their winning streak to 7 games.
The Jazz have created a little bit of separation in the playoff chase from the 6th seeded Los Angeles Clippers because of their recent hot streak. The team comes into this game having won 11 out of 12 games and pretty solidly sits in the 5th seed for the playoffs start, which start April 13th, 2019. But the team surely will want to keep playing at a high level as they enter the postseason. Also at stake is a 50 win season and there is still the outside chance that they could get the 4th seed, which would mean home court advantage. The Jazz will have to get continued strong play from versatile swingman Joe Ingles, who had a career game on Wednesday against the Phoenix Suns. Combine that with continued strong play on both ends of the court from Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert and it will be interesting to see if that is enough to overcome the challenge from this talented young Kings team.
It seems hard to believe that the playoffs are just one week away. It is nice not to have the drama to see if the Jazz are even going to be in the playoffs, but at the same time it’s good to have some intrigue as the season winds down to keep the games interesting. This game should be a fun one to watch with both teams having a lot of motivation to get the win.
When: Friday, April 5, 2019, 7:00 PM MT
Where: Vivint Smart Home Arena • Salt Lake City, UT
TV: AT&T Sports Net - Rocky Mountain
Radio: 97.5 FM | 1280 AM The Zone
Dante Exum — OUT (Right Knee)
Jae Crowder — Day to Day (Quad)
Derrick Favors — Day to Day (Back)
Ricky Rubio — Day to Day (Right Hamstring)
Kyle Korver — Day to Day (Knee)
Harry Giles — OUT (Left Thigh)