The Brooklyn Nets have a clash with the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake tonight, the first of several this year, as many predict these two teams to reach the NBA Finals. Though, this meeting won’t see two of the Nets’ superstars, as both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant didn’t arrive in Utah. They have been out, but one other superstar is there to lead the boys from Brookly, and he knows the Jazzers very well, James Harden. On the other side, the hosts are back to their Vivint Smart Home Arena following an exhausting tour through the East.
Brooklyn Nets (30-14, +205) are on for a second of back-to-back nights, following a clash against the Trail Blazers in Portland. It was a very tough event, but Steve Nash’s boys have been more than solid, posting 116-112 victory.
Even with an extremely poor three-point shooting percentage, 9-for-30, the Nets managed to get on top of the nasty Blazers, who made 19 threes. The biggest difference in this one was the points from the paint where Brooklyn outscored the hosts 64-28.
James Harden was all over the court, posting 25 points with magnificent 17 assists and seven boards. The Beard didn’t have a good shooting night at all because he missed all of his seven three-point attempts, but he was without a doubt the best player on Moda Center’s floor. Jeff Green added 20 points, Joe Harris 17, while Blake Griffin played 19 minutes, dropping 8 buckets and five boards. Nicolas Claxton had 16 with nine boards, 8-for-10 from the field, pretty impressive for the 21-year old.
Utah Jazz (31-11, -250) are finally back home following a five-game stretch on the road, that saw them winning three and losing two games. The previous two games ended in their favor, first in Florida against the Raptors, 115-112, and the second in Chicago, where they rolled over the Bulls, 120-95, demonstrating their ruthless power.
Donovan Mitchell dropped 30 points, his third straight game with 30 or more, while shooting 11-for-19 from the floor and 5-for-8 for three. Spida also added 6 boards and assists as well
Rudy Gobert continued with double-double production having 21 points and 10 rebounds, and he was one block short of reaching a triple-double. Yes, he had nine blocks; you read it well. Joe Ingles and Jordan Clarkson had 17 and 16 points, respectively.
Head to Head Games
The Nets ripped apart the Jazz in the first meeting this season, 130-96. Right from the tip-off, there was only one team on the court, with the hosts winning the opening quarter 35-14. Kyrie scored 29 points, while Jarrett Allen had 19 and 18 rebounds. Also, Caris LeVert added 24 from the bench. On the other side, Mitchell had 31, Jordan Clarkson 12, and Royce O’Neale 10.
With only James Harden available (and he too had problems with sore neck), the Nets are +8.5 point favorites. And to be honest, this is a realistic proportion of power here. We are backing up the Jazz to win here, but just to be 100% sure, we’ll go with a plain win, no spreads involved. That’s the way we want to decrease the risk in this case.
Pick: Utah wins
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.