NBA Game Preview: Phoenix Suns at Utah Jazz

Jan 26, 2022

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Game: Phoenix Suns @ Utah Jazz  

Time: 10:00 p.m. ET 

Odds:  Suns -4, Jazz +4 

Total: 221.5 

The Phoenix Suns had an 18-game winning streak earlier this season and are now in the midst of their second-longest run of the season. The Suns have won seven in a row including Monday night’s 115-109 win over Utah. Tonight is the second game of the home-and-home series and Phoenix finds itself a four-point favorite on the road at Utah.  

While Phoenix has been rolling to the league’s best record (37-9), the Jazz have been struggling. Utah has won just twice in its last ten games. Part of the problem is health. The Jazz lost leading scorer Donovan Mitchell on Jan. 18 to a concussion. He has been out ever since and will miss tonight’s game. Utah’s other All-Star, Rudy Gobert, will also miss tonight’s game with a calf injury. Bogdan Bogdanovic, Royce O’Neale, and Joe Ingles have all been upgraded to probable for the Jazz tonight. 

The Suns have actually had their fair share of injuries too. They have just been better at managing them. Jae Crowder, Deandre Ayton, Abdel Nader, Cameron Payne, and JaVale McGee will all miss tonight’s game. Despite missing Ayton from the starting lineup recently, the Suns continue to win. In Monday’s game, leading scorer Devin Booker scored 33 points. Chris Paul just missed a triple-double with 27 points, 14 assists, and nine rebounds and Bismack Biyombo recorded a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds. 

Utah was led by Jordan Clarkson’s 22 points in Monday’s loss. The Jazz continue to lead the NBA in scoring, but their defense continues to come up short. Known for their defense over the past few seasons, the Jazz have fallen to 12th in points allowed per game (107.2) and to 12th in defensive efficiency. 

The Jazz have lost eight of their last ten games by an average margin of 9.4 points. Not surprisingly, they have done poorly against the spread. The Jazz are 5-14-1 ATS in their last 20 games, including 2-7-1 ATS over the last ten. Phoenix is 4-2 ATS in their last six games and the Suns do very well against the number when playing on the road. Phoenix is 14-8 ATS in road games this season. 

In the Suns’ current seven-game winning streak, they have won by an average margin of 12.4 points. The Suns have been a double-digit favorite in three of their last five games. They covered just one of those games. Phoenix is 5-1 ATS in its last six games against Utah and the Suns have beaten the Jazz in five straight games. 

As mentioned, the Jazz lead the NBA in scoring at 114.1 points per game. The Suns average 112.5 and are the only team in the league ranked in the top 5 in offensive and defensive efficiency. Both teams rank in the top 3 in field goal percentage and the top 10 in three-point field goal percentage. In the last five Suns-Jazz games, the total has averaged 223.6. Four of those last five games would have surpassed tonight’s total of 221.5.  

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