Game: Sacramento Kings @ Utah Jazz
Time: 9:00 p.m.
Odds: Kings -5, Jazz +5
If history is any indication, NBA fans will be in for a treat tonight when the Sacramento Kings travel to Salt Lake City to play the Utah Jazz. The two teams, who have produced some of the league’s best storylines this season, met twice in a four-day span over three months ago and now will play each other twice in five days this week.
The first two games were won by Sacramento by a combined score of three points. In the first game, the Kings won at home 126-125 on December 30 thanks to a three-pointer by Kevin Huerter with 9.2 seconds left. De’Aaron Fox ended up being the hero four nights later. In the fourth quarter of a 117-115 victory over Utah, he scored 22 of his 37 points and made a driving layup with 0.4 seconds left. Lauri Markannen’s spectacular shot at the buzzer was first ruled good but was later overturned on replay.
These two games are crucial for both the Kings (43-27) and Jazz (34-36) because there are just 12 games left in the regular season for each team. Sacramento and Memphis were tied for second place in the Western Conference standings as of today, and both teams are still within striking distance of the Denver Nuggets in first place. Since All-Star Weekend, the Kings have won 11 of 13 games, including seven straight victories away from home.
The Kings beat Washington on Saturday 132-118. Domantas Sabonis led the Kings once more while fending off the Wizards’ physical defense. Sabonis scored 30 points on 12-of-30 shooting, dished out 10 assists, and grabbed nine rebounds.
Markkanen has had an All-NBA worthy season. He led the Jazz in scoring with 28 points and 10 rebounds in Saturday’s comeback victory over the Boston Celtics. Before finding a way to win, Utah trailed by 19 points in the first half and by six in the final three minutes.
With 35 seconds remaining in the game, Talen Horton-Tucker made the tying basket, and then rookie Walker Kessler blocked the Celtics’ game-winning layup in the closing seconds after missing two crucial free throws earlier.
The Kings are 6-1 SU and ATS in their last seven games. They have not done so well against Utah recently. Sacramento is 4-16 SU in their last 20 games against the Jazz. In the last 14 games against Utah, the Kings have covered the spread just three times.
Utah has won three of its last four games and they have covered five straight. The Jazz are 6-1 SU in the last seven games against the Kings at home. Utah is 2-5 ATS in its last seven home games.
The Kings lead the NBA in scoring (121.1) and the Jazz are sixth (117.2). The Over trends for both teams. The total has gone Over in 13 of the Kings’ last 19 games. The Over has cashed in six of the last seven Jazz games. In the series between the two teams, the Over 4-1 in the last five and 7-3 in the last ten games.
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