Before the All-Star Break the Utah Jazz were left with the sting of defeat as they grasped defeat out of the jaws of victory in Los Angeles against the Lakers. Players, coaches, and fans alike had to sit on that loss for the whole All-Star break, but those feelings have quickly faded as the Jazz have won back-to-back close, clutch contests versus possible Western Conference playoff matchups in the Mavericks and the Suns.
Tonight, the Jazz take on a different kind of challenge as they head into Houston to take on the Houston Rockets. The Rockets are anything but a conference powerhouse this year as they currently sit in dead last in the Wild West.
The challenge the Jazz face tonight will be a test of focus. The playoff energy that has been present the last two games will not be present tonight in Houston. The Rockets have dropped 10-straight games. Along with that, Houston’s best player in Eric Gordon will miss tonight’s game. Kevin Porter Jr., Garrison Mathews (who had a 23-point outing versus Utah earlier this year), and Dennis Schroder are all listed as day-to-day and are questionable for tonight’s game.
As a result, the Jazz are 15-point favorites and you can find tickets for as cheap as $3 on Vividseats. It would be easy for the Jazz to walk into the Toyota Center expecting to give minimal effort and come away with a win, and they very well could, but this team is now post-All-Star break and finds themselves just 4 games out of 2nd in the West. They cannot afford to lose focus at this point with the Mavericks and Nuggets hot on their trail for home-court advantage.
The Jazz are healthy outside of Jared Butler who will miss tonight’s game. There is really no excuse for the Jazz to lose this game. Frankly, it is easy to see why they are 15-point favorites and it would be nice to see them win decisively.
When: 6:00 PM MT
Where: Toyota Center, Houston, TX
TV: AT&T Sportsnet RM