National Basketball Association
Dallas at Utah
When: 5:00 PM ET, Saturday, January 25, 2020
Where: Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah
The Utah Jazz are the hottest team in the Western Conference of late and are winners of three straight and 18 of their last 20 games to pull into the No. 2 spot in the Western Conference. Trying to chase down the Jazz are the Dallas Mavericks, who are winners of four of five and will visit Utah on Saturday for the second stop of a three-game trip.
The Jazz won the last three games by an average of 28.3 points and are coming off a 129-96 drubbing of the Golden State Warriors on the road Wednesday. "Regardless of the competition, this team has worked," Utah coach Quin Snyder told reporters. "They've worked hard at some weaknesses that are gradually becoming strengths. There's always more to do, but I think our focus has been on us and playing the right way and defending and trying to be consistent in those things." The Mavericks survived a barrage of 3-pointers from the Trail Blazers in a 133-125 victory at Portland on Thursday with their own, knocking down 22 from beyond the arc and shooting 51.6 percent from the floor. "For us, we know we're going to score," Dallas forward Kristaps Porzingis told reporters. "It's more about getting stops. We have so many weapons. It's more about us not just exchanging baskets."TIME:
5 p.m. ET. TV:
FS Southwest, AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain, NBA TV CanadaABOUT THE MAVERICKS (28-16):
Dallas played its first game on Thursday without center Dwight Powell, who suffered a season-ending Achilles injury in Tuesday's loss to the Los Angeles Clippers and is reportedly in the process of acquiring big man Willie Cauley-Stein from the Warriors. The Mavericks used Porzingis in the middle most of the night and he responded with 20 points and five rebounds while Luka Doncic led seven scorers in double figures with 27 points. "I was proud of our guys and the way they adjusted to our situation," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle told reporters. "We have a new reality without Dwight. And it's going to require a real togetherness and a real persistence and a real understanding of who we have to be, and that's an attacking team that's skilled. Defensively we have to do it collectively."ABOUT THE JAZZ (31-13):
Utah will get a chance to turn aside two teams chasing it in the standings with Houston scheduled to come in on Monday, and the team is not shying away from any opponent. "You start to build confidence," Snyder told reporters of the winning stretch. "Guys start to figure out how to play with one another. We've had some guys, individually, that have really started to play well. Collectively, I think there's a synergy to the group right now." One guy playing well is center Rudy Gobert, who collected 22 points and 15 rebounds in Wednesday's triumph and is averaging 16.9 points on 68.6 percent shooting and 15.5 rebounds over the last 20 contests.BUZZER BEATERS
1. Doncic was elected to his first All-Star team when the starters were announced on Thursday.
2. Jazz SG Donovan Mitchell scored 22 or more points in each of the last five games.
3. Utah took three of the four meetings last season, including both games at home.PREDICTION:
Jazz 128, Mavericks 119
Stats and Records