What to Watch For: Utah Jazz at Phoenix Suns

The Utah Jazz will go head-to-head against the Phoenix Suns in a 1 vs 2 matchup on Friday night.
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Joe Ingles (2) shoots over Jae Crowder (99) in a game against the Phoenix Suns

Joe Ingles (2) shoots over Jae Crowder (99) in a game against the Phoenix Suns

The Utah Jazz obliterated Sacramento on Wednesday, setting a franchise record for most points in a game and beating the Kings 154-105. The Jazz will play the Phoenix Suns in arguably their biggest game of the regular season later this evening.

Jazz vs Suns Throwback:

The Jazz and Suns have gone head-to-head in 188 games throughout history. The Suns hold a two-game edge over the Jazz 95-93. With two losses against the Suns so far this season, the Jazz are looking to get one in the win column against their Western Conference rival.

Utah and Phoenix met in Arizona three weeks ago, ending in a 117-113 overtime loss for the Jazz. Donovan Mitchell was exceptional, totaling 41-points and 8-rebounds in the heartbreaking loss. Tonight's game will be one of the biggest games of the year for the Jazz, and could have major implications on who ends up with the number one seed in the West.

Key Players:

Bojan Bogdanovic and Chris Paul will be the two shooters to keep your eye on during tonight's matchup.

Bojan Bogdanovic (44) scores against the Phoenix Suns

Bojan Bogdanovic (44) scores against the Phoenix Suns

Bogdanovic has led the Jazz in scoring through four of the last eight games, and has seemed to find his mojo since his shooting slump in March. Bogdanovic is shooting 42% from the field and 38.1% from beyond the arc this season. He is averaging 15.7-points and 3.8-rebounds per game on the season and 18.8-points and 2.2-rebounds through the last five games.

Paul was outstanding during the last outing against the Jazz, scoring 29-points and chalking up 9-assists on the night. Paul leads the Suns in assists (8.7) and steals (1.4) per game. 

Fun Facts:

The Jazz will break out their road-blue uniforms tonight against the Suns. They are currently 6-3 in their "Icon" uniforms, and will look to add another mark to the win column later this evening. Tonight's game against Phoenix will be the final time this regular season that the Jazz will wear their classic blue uniform. Their last game in the Icon jersey's came in a 112-89 win over the Houston Rockets.

The Jazz broke their franchise record for points scored in a game against the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday. Read more about the feat here.

Donovan Mitchell's ankle was re-evaluated before the Jazz game against the Minnesota Timberwolves last Saturday. He remains "out" but will be re-evaluated next week.

The Utah Jazz are the first team to secure a spot in the 2021 NBA Playoffs. Utah is still in the race for the number one overall seed and are likely to have a few different teams that they could play in the first round of the playoffs. The Phoenix Suns are the only other team in the Western Conference to secure their spot in the 2021 playoffs. Tonight's game could have implications on who gets the number one seed in the West. 

Jazz guard Mike Conley won an Oscar for Live Action Short Film on Sunday for his work as an executive producer of "Two Distant Strangers". Conley also broke the 5,000 career assist mark on Saturday against the Timberwolves. Read more here.

Charles Barkley is starting to believe that the Utah Jazz are contenders to win the NBA Finals. He made his comment on TNT two nights ago, and although his co-hosts weren't as quick to hop on the bandwagon, Barkley stood strong with his opinion. You can read more about it here.

The Utah Jazz dismantled the Sacramento Kings in incredible fashion on Wednesday night. They are 45-17 and remain in first place in the NBA. Utah leads the Phoenix Suns by one game and the Los Angeles Clippers by three games in the Western Conference. They also lead the Brooklyn Nets by two and a half games and the Philadelphia 76ers by four games in the Eastern Conference.

The Phoenix Suns are 44-18 so far this season, and are in second place in the Western Conference and NBA. They are 3-2 in their last five games, with wins over the Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks, and Philadelphia 76ers. The Suns also suffered losses to the Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets during that stretch.

Donovan Mitchell (right ankle sprain) and Mike Conley (right hamstring) are out, while Royce O'Neale (right wrist) is listed as day-to-day on the Jazz injury report. 

Dario Saric (ankle) is listed as probable, Jae Crowder (ankle) is listed as questionable, and Abdel Nader (knee) is out for Friday night's game against the Jazz.

How to Consume:

Friday's game between Utah and Phoenix will tip off at 8pm MST. Jazz fans can watch the game on AT&T SportsNet, and can also tune into the game on 97.5FM or 1280AM.

Rudy Gobert (27) blocks a shot against the Phoenix Suns

Rudy Gobert (27) blocks a shot against the Phoenix Suns

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