The Utah Jazz travel to the Chesapeake Energy Arena to face the Oklahoma City Thunder on March 11, 2020.
The Jazz and Thunder are slugging it out for the 4th seed in the Western Conference. Before the start of Tuesday’s games, the Jazz were in fourth place with a record of 41-23. The Thunder were right behind them at 40-24 or just one game behind Utah. Both teams have split their last 10 assignments and they also have one win each against each other this season. Utah won their first head to head meeting by five points in Salt Lake City while the Thunder rebounded with a 104-90 win in OKC.
The Utah Jazz had their five-game winning run snapped by the defending NBA champions Toronto Raptors 92-101 on Monday night at Utah’s home court. Utah’s bench outscored Toronto’s reserves 42-19 but despite their second unit putting up 30 or more points for the fifth time in six games, the Jazz still lost because their starters didn’t do much.
Donovan Mitchell was held down to just 11 points on 4-16 shooting. Mike Conley didn’t do any better as he went 4-12 with 13 points and seven assists. Rudy Gobert had six points on four shot attempts and Bogdan Bogdanovic scored only five points in 24 minutes. Joe Ingles came off the bench to lead the Jazz with 20 points.
Utah ranks 17th in the league in scoring at 111.0 points per game this season. They are 14th in rebounding at 45.1 boards pulled down per contest and are 26th in the NBA in passing at 22.2 assists per game. The Jazz are 9th overall in scoring defense at 107.9 points per game allowed.
The Oklahoma City Thunder picked up their third straight victory with a pulsating 105-104 win over the Boston Celtics on Sunday night. Dennis Shroder stole the ball from Kemba Walker and scored the game-winning layup with 8.5 seconds left as the Thunder moved past the Houston Rockets for the fifth spot in the Western Conference.
Chris Paul scored 28 points and issued six assists as the Thunder won without Shai Gilgeous-Alexander who missed the game after suffering a bruised hip during their Friday win against the New York Knicks. Schroder finished with 27 points and six assists while Danilo Gallinari added 18 points and six rebounds for the Thunder.
Oklahoma City has the 10th best scoring defense in the league at 108.3 points per game allowed. They are 19th overall in scoring at 110.8 points per game this season. The Thunder are 26th in rebounding at 42.7 boards grabbed per contest and they are also 27th in passing at 21.9 assists per game.
Utah is 5-1 SU in their last six games played. The Jazz are 6-0 SU in their last six games played on the road. Oklahoma City is 8-2 SU in their last 10 games played. The Thunder are 3-1 SU in their last four games played at home. Head to head, the Thunder are 6-4 SU in their last 10 games played against the Jazz. OKC is also 18-1 SU in their last 19 home games played against Utah.
These teams are currently battling for the 4th spot in the West and this could very well be a first-round match-up. If that’s the case, this game is very important because it could decide which team will have a home-court advantage in their series. The Jazz are only one game ahead of the Thunder in the team standings so that’s how crucial this game is.
The Jazz head to Oklahoma City after losing to the Raptors in their last assignment. Utah though has won five out of its last six games played and the Jazz have picked up six straight road wins. The Thunder have won three in a row and have won 17 out of their last 22 games played.
Utah is 20-13 SU on the road this season while Oklahoma City is also 20-13 at their home court. These teams split their first two meetings of the season and given what is at stake here, this should be a close game between two elite teams. OKC expects Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to play in this game and he should be the difference-maker here.
PREDICTION: OKC THUNDER
The Jazz are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games played. The Jazz are 2-2 ATS in their last four games played on the road, and 2-9 ATS in their last 11 games played against the Western Conference. Oklahoma City is 2-5 ATS in their last seven games played. The Thunder are 3-6 ATS in their last nine games played at home, and 12-5 ATS in their last 17 games against the Western Conference. Head to head, the Thunder are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games played against the Jazz.
The Thunder have covered well in their last 10 games against the Jazz. Utah has won six straight games away from Salt Lake City but OKC has won eight out of their last 10 assignments. Chris Paul is averaging 21.67 points per game during their current three-game winning streak. The return of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander should improve OKCs chances here.
PREDICTION: THUNDER -1.5
The total has gone under in six out of the last 10 games played by the Jazz. The over is 17-16 in Utah’s 33 road games played this season, and also 4-2 in their last six games against the Northwest Division. The total has gone under in three out of the last five games played by the Thunder. The under is 2-1-1 in OKC’s last four home games played. Head to head, the total has gone under in four out of the last five meetings between these two teams.
These teams have combined to score an average of 213.8 points per game in their last 10 meetings and only 202 points per game in their last three head to head assignments. Utah has allowed 105 or fewer points in their last four assignments while the Thunder have not conceded more than 109 points in their last four games played. Look for these teams to play playoff defense in this crucial game.
PREDICTION: UNDER 217/strong>
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