What to Watch For: Utah Jazz vs Houston Rockets

The Utah Jazz will play for the second time in as many nights on Saturday as they take on the Houston Rockets
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Bojan Bogdanovic (44) drives to the basket against the Houston Rockets

Bojan Bogdanovic (44) drives to the basket against the Houston Rockets

In a game where Bojan Bogdanovic finished with 48-points, the Utah Jazz emerged victorious in an exciting matchup against the Denver Nuggets 127-120. Utah will now take on the Houston Rockets for the final time this season later this evening at Vivint Smart Home Arena.

Jazz vs Rockets Throwback:

Utah and Houston have gone back and forth 206 times in history, with the Jazz holding the 10-game edge against the Rockets 108-98. Last time these two teams matched up, the Jazz beat the Rockets 112-89.

During the last matchup between these two squads, Jordan Clarkson led the way with with 22-points while Mike Conley added 13-assists. Rudy Gobert also had an extraordinary night, chalking up 19-points and 18-rebounds in the Jazz 23-point victory.

Key Players:

Jordan Clarkson and Kenyon Martin Jr will be the two players to watch for as these Western Conference rivals square off for the final time this year.

Jordan Clarkson (00) drills a three pointer against the Houston Rockets

Jordan Clarkson (00) drills a three pointer against the Houston Rockets

Clarkson is the current frontrunner for Sixth-Man of the Year, and is second on the team in points (17.6) and third on the team in steals (0.9). He has helped light up the scoreboard for the Jazz while Donovan Mitchell has been out, and has had success against the Rockets this season.

Martin is third on the Rockets in field goal percentage (51.4%), and blocks (0.9) per game. He has played well against the Jazz this season, but will need to put the team on his back and play extraordinarily well if they're going to have a chance against Utah later tonight.

Fun Facts:

The Association uniforms will grace the Vivint Smart Home Arena floor later this evening as the Jazz take on the Rockets. Utah is currently 16-8 in their white jerseys with their last win in the home-whites coming against the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday.

Bojan Bogdanovic went off for a career high 48-points against the Denver Nuggets last night, helping the Jazz secure one of the top three seeds in the Playoffs. Gobert was also exceptional in the win, coming up with a block against Nikola Jokic in the final three minutes of the game to notch the victory.

Donovan Mitchell's ankle was re-evaluated before yesterday's matchup against the Denver Nuggets, and it was once again announced that he will be 'out' and re-evaluated next week. 

The Utah Jazz were the first team to secure a spot in the 2021 NBA Playoffs, and currently hold the number one seed. They need to beat the Phoenix Suns by one game or more to obtain the one-seed, and the Jazz currently are holding a one game lead over their nearest challenger. Read about the two teams upcoming schedules here.

There are a few games that could impact the Jazz and their playoff route throughout the remainder of the weekend. Read more about those matchups here.

TNT's Ernie Johnson picked the Utah Jazz to make it to the NBA Finals last night, making him the second person on the TNT panel to favor the Jazz winning the Western Conference and making it to the finals. Read more about it here.

The Utah Jazz left the arena with an emphatic win over the Denver Nuggets last night. With the win, the Jazz are 49-18 and are in first place in the NBA and Western Conference. The Jazz are leading the Phoenix Suns by one game, and the Los Angeles Clippers by four games in the Western Conference. They also lead the Philadelphia 76ers by three games, and the Milwaukee Bucks and the Brooklyn Nets by six games in the Eastern Conference.

The Houston Rockets have had a season to forget, currently residing in last place in the Western Conference, and last place in the NBA. The Rockets are 16-51 this year which included a 20-game losing streak in the middle of the season. The Rockets are 1-4 in their last five games, with a win over the Milwaukee Bucks. Their losses during that stretch have come against the Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers, New York Knicks, and Golden State Warriors.

Donovan Mitchell (right ankle sprain) Juwan Morgan (heel) and Mike Conley (right hamstring) are listed as out for Saturday's game. You can read more details about these injuries on the Jazz injury report

Jae'Sean Tate (knee) is questionable, while Christian Wood (ankle), Kevin Porter Jr (ankle), Avery Bradley (personal), Eric Gordon (groin), Sterling Brown (knee), DJ Wilson (Covid-19 Protocols), John Wall (hamstring), Dante Exum (calf) and David Nwaba (wrist) are all listed as out against the Jazz later this evening.

How to Consume:

The Utah Jazz will play against the Houston Rockets later this evening 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) fights through a crowd of defenders against the Houston Rockets

Rudy Gobert (27) fights through a crowd of defenders against the Houston Rockets

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