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Jazz look to continue hot streak vs short-handed Rockets

With Russell Westbrook and James Harden sidelined, can Utah avoid the dreaded “trap game”?

NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Utah Jazz
Carry us home, Rudy
Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday, tragedy shook the basketball world to its core. Somehow the players have to play basketball tonight while grieving the death of Kobe and Gianna Bryant.

It’s a harsh reminder about how precious life is and that we should never take those close to us for granted.

That said, basketball, the thing that united us with the great Kobe Bryant, can help the healing process. Tonight the Utah Jazz will remember Kobe Bryant and, hopefully, help Jazz fans take another step towards processing such a terrible loss.

Game Info

When: Monday, January 27th, 2020 • 7:00 PM MST

Where: Vivint Smart Home Arena • Salt Lake City, UT

TV: AT&T Sports Net Rocky Mountain, NBA TV

Radio: 97.5 FM | 1280 AM The Zone

What to watch for

Rudy’s defensive dominance

The reigning two-time (soon to be three-time) Defensive Player of the Year is the heart and soul of this team. His intimidating paint presence deters ball handlers from even attempting shots anywhere near the rim, forcing defenses into late shot clock situations. He’s made a habit of shutting down star players on the perimeter and has stepped up in the clutch time and time again this season.

Tonight Rudy Gobert will go against a Houston Rockets team that will be playing without James Harden and likely Russell Westbrook and Clint Capella. Without those core pieces the Jazz should handle them with relative ease. If the Jazz can put a stamp on this game early, they should be able to have starters out of the game by the end of the third quarter.

Mandatory Highlight

Game Thread Ground Rules

Welcome to the SLC Dunk Game Thread.

Dunkers know how this thing works, but for you lurkers ready to make the jump to Dunker, we have a few guidelines. Remember to follow our community guidelines (no swearing, trolling, excessive use of Jerry Sloan’s name in vain, no personal attacks, no debates about Utah liquor laws, etc.). Remember to have fun. Anyone who dare blasphemes that Tim Duncan was a Power Forward (this means you, Pounding the Rock), Ben Simmons can hit threes, Gordon Hayward should not be booed, Donovan Mitchell is Monta Ellis 2.0, men should never cry, or John Stockton is not the best point guard of all-time will receive an automatic ban. Just kidding. But seriously.