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Jazz can seal tiebreaker over Rockets with win tonight

Utah hasn’t won season series against Houston since 2016-17

NBA: Utah Jazz at Houston Rockets Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Game number 56 is here for the Utah Jazz and it’s one that will have an immediate impact on the Western Conference standings. The Jazz (36-19) sit one spot and one game ahead of the Houston Rockets (35-20) whom they play tonight. A win for either team would guarantee sole possession of fourth place in the West for the night.

This game will also have major season-long implications as it is the third and final installment of the season series between the Jazz and the Rockets. Both teams currently own one win so tonight is the tiebreaker. And given that these two teams will very likely end up next to each other in the standings after game 82, this tie-breaking matchup could determine home court in a series.

Game Info

When: Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020 • 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

What to watch for

How the Jazz handle Houston’s new, bold strategy

This isn’t the first time Utah has played the Rockets since the latter traded away the last of their rotation centers, opting for a a lineup that has no players taller than 6-foot-7. The Jazz came out on top, but just barely thanks to 30 points off the bench from Jordan Clarkson and some other play that I can’t quite remember.

The extreme five-out style Houston has been employing is the exact kind of kryptonite critics of Rudy Gobert claim take him out of games. But Quin Snyder made an interesting choice by matching Gobert up on Russell Westbrook in half court scenarios.

Houston’s extreme commitment to small-ball lineups is still something the league is still working on how to defend. Imagine an NFL team going to the wildcat full-time. This will be one more sample for the Jazz to work on, something that could be valuable given that Utah always seems to end up playing Houston in the playoffs.

Mandatory Highlight

You knew this was coming. Enjoy seeing it for the 1000th time.

Game Thread Ground Rules

Welcome to the SLC Dunk Game Thread.

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