The 3-1 Utah Jazz get a grudge match with the Houston Rockets tonight after taking their first loss of the season in Houston on Monday night. After suffering what many would argue was a “scheduled loss” against the super-young Rockets, the Jazz come into tonight as 8-point favorites (per Draft Kings) for the rematch in Salt Lake City.
Keys To The Game
- In order for the Jazz to pull out the victory tonight they’ll need more production from Lauri Markkanen this time around. Markkanen posted a 14 point/6 rebound/1 assist line on Monday on a rough 7/19 from the field (0/6 from 3P) on Monday night. Markkanen has arguably been the best player on the team this year, and if he continues producing at this 22ppg/9rpg/3apg pace he could find himself on the All-Star team in February.
- The Jazz will need to keep the Rockets off the free-throw line. On Monday the Rockets took 32 free throws to the Jazz’s 16. The Jazz actually posted a better eFG% in their last matchup at 53.2% to the Rockets’ 48.3% according to Cleaning The Glass, so they need to reduce those easy opportunities at the charity stripe. Fresh legs should help the team stay in front of players without fouling.
- The Jazz are going to need some players besides Kelly Olynyk and Jordan Clarkson to start hitting 3-point shots. Clarkson is shooting 41% against a 34% career average, and Kelly Olynyk is shooting an unreal 79%(!!!) from 3-point range so far this season, he is a career 37% 3-point shooter. These guys are going to come back down to earth at some point - maybe Simone Fontecchio will be the answer after shooting 3/5 from 3P in his 16 minutes on Monday night.
Per NBA.com at 1:30 PM, the Houston Rockets will be without three roster members:
- Bruno Fernando with Left Knee Soreness
- Alperen Sengun with Illness
- TyTy Washington with a Left Knee Sprain
Jae’Sean Tate is listed as Questionable with Left Ankle Soreness
The Jazz have officially ruled out Udoka Azubuike due to his Right Ankle Surgery
When: 7:00 PM MT
Where: Vivint Arena, Salt Lake City, UT
Radio: 97.5/1280 The Zone