Phoenix Suns vs. Utah Jazz Preview

Darren Abate/AP Photo

Phoenix Suns vs. Utah Jazz Preview

NBA

Phoenix Suns vs. Utah Jazz Preview

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Darren Abate/AP Photo

The 37-9 Western Conference-leading Phoenix Suns head to Salt Lake City tonight to take on the 30-18 Utah Jazz tonight in a big conference matchup that features multiple key players out for each team.

Phoenix won the first game of this doubleheader Monday 115-109 behind 33 points from Devin Booker in the Valley. This time they head to Utah, but again both teams are without multiple players tonight.

The Suns still feature Chris Paul and Devin Booker, one of the scariest backcourt duos in the entire league. Reliable big man DeAndre Ayton is out, however, along with Cameron Payne, Jae Crowder, and JaVale McGee. The Suns have been without Frank Kaminsky and Dario Saric for most of the season as well.

The Jazz might have it worse, though. Utah is without Donovan Mitchell tonight as well as defensive stalwart Rudy Gobert. They are also without Bojan Bogdanovic, Joe Ingles, Royce O’Neal, and Mike Conley.

The Jazz come into the game on a brutal stretch recently, as they are 2-8 in their last ten and a 4-9 overall record in the month of January. The injuries they have sustained have been significant, as no one has stepped up outside of Jordan Clarkson to fill the void.

The Suns have been the exact opposite, winning their last seven and nine of their last ten. It is hard to find any flaws in the Suns game the last seven games and still rank high in most efficiency categories despite injuries. 

How Phoenix Can Win:

Let Chris Paul and Devin Booker continue to work their magic. The Suns have been good because they limit their mistakes and distribute the ball well enough to players that can put the ball in the basket. With a lot of these injuries, it may be more beneficial to put the ball in the hands of their two best players as well as Cam Johnson, and let them work. Finally, Biyombo was stellar in his first action against the Jazz on Monday, and without Gobert, he should replace some of Ayton’s production.

How Utah Can Win:

The Jazz had the lead going into the fourth against these same Suns on Monday. Players outside of Clarkson need to step up and replace the void that Donovan Mitchell leaves when he’s injured. They shot well from three as well (45.8%), which is one of the main reasons why they stayed in the game. If they can limit Booker and Paul more as well as rebound better with Gobert out, do not count out the Jazz tonight.

The Odds via FanDuel:

O/U: 220.5

Phoenix Suns (-1.5) -125

Utah Jazz (+1.5) +105

 

Final Prediction: Phoenix Suns 122, Utah Jazz 109

Anthony Ravasio is a writer for TWSN and a student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. In his downtime, you can find Anthony watching sports, enjoying his time with friends or family, or tracking his bets on Action (or all three at once). You can find TWSN on Twitter @TWSN___ and Instagram @twsn___. You can find Anthony on Twitter @anthonyravasio or Instagram @ravasiosports as well.

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