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Utah Jazz vs Indiana Pacers Preview and Predictions -01-20-2020

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After facing the Denver Nuggets on Sunday night, the Indiana Pacers will travel to Utah to meet the Jazz as a part of a back-to-back, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It will be the second-straight road game for the Pacers as a part of a four-game road trip against Western Conference opponents. The Utah Jazz last played on Saturday night and defeated the Sacramento Kings 123-101 at home.

These teams met earlier this season on Nov. 27, with Indiana winning at home 121-102. The Pacers were a one-point favorite in that game.

Pacers on four-game road trip

The Indiana Pacers began their current road trip on a four-game winning streak, heading into Sunday night’s game against the Denver Nuggets. If the season ended today, the Pacers would be the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs, but only trail the Miami Heat by two games for the second spot in the conference. Prior to facing the Nuggets, the Pacers are 10-10 on the road this season but have won their last three road games.The Pacers have never swept a five-game Western Conference road trip but Malcolm Brogdon has publicized that as the goal for the journey that passes through Denver, Utah, Phoenix, Golden State, and Portland.

Malcolm Brogdon isn’t asking much for the Pacers’ five-game road trip that begins Sunday in Denver. Making history is all. The Pacers have never swept a five-game Western road trip but Brogdon has

The Pacers are led in scoring by T.J Warren with 18.1 points per game. Domantas Sabonis has been the team’s best player overall, averaging 17.8 points, 12.9 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game, but the Pacers do get a balanced team effort on most nights. Point guard Malcolm Brogdon adds 17.7 points and a team-leading 7.5 assists. Jeremy Lamb (13.3 ppg), Myles Turner (12.6 ppg, 6.1 rebounds) and Aaron Holiday (10.5 ppg) are all key contributors for Indiana.

Jazz stay hot against Kings

After having a nine-game winning streak snapped on Thursday in a 138-132 overtime loss at New Orleans, the Jazz bounced back at home and took down the Sacramento Kings 123-101 on Saturday night. Bojan Bogdanovic led the Jazz with 30 points, Rudy Gobert added 28 points and 15 rebounds, Donovan Mitchell scored 22 points, and Jordan Clarkson chipped in 20 points. Mike Conley returned from injury and played for the first time since Dec. 17. Conley played 15 minutes, scored three points, and dished out three assists.
On the season, the Jazz rank first in the NBA shooting 38.8% from three-point range. Donovan Mitchell leads the team in scoring averaging 24.7 points per game, and Bogdanovic adds 21.3 points per game and is shooting 41.8% from three three-point range. The Jazz defense is anchored by Rudy Gobert, who is averaging 15.3 points and is second in league with 14.5 rebounds per game

The play started with Jordan Clarkson driving toward the hoop and dropping a pocket pass to Tony Bradley. From there the ball swung to Royce O’Neale, then Donovan Mitchell, then Mike Conley. It wentThe Jazz are as hot as anyone in the NBA right now. Utah has won 16 of their last 18 games and are 16-3 at home. If the season endedtoday, Utah would be the fourth seed in the Western Conference playoffs but are only half-a-game behind the second seed.

Utah Jazz

The Utah Jazz are an American professional basketball team based in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Jazz compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member club of the league’s Western Conference, Northwest Division. Since 1991, the team has played its home games at Vivint Smart Home Arena. The franchise began play as an expansion team in 1974 as the New Orleans Jazz (as a tribute to New Orleans’ history of originating Jazz music). The Jazz moved to Salt Lake City in 1979.

The Jazz were one of the least successful teams in the league in their early years. Although 10 seasons elapsed before the Jazz qualified for their first playoff appearance in 1984, they did not miss the playoffs again until 2004. During the late 1980s, John Stockton and Karl Malone arose as the franchise players for the team, and formed one of the most famed point guard–power forward duos in NBA history. Led by coach Jerry Sloan, who took over from Frank Layden in 1988, they became one of the powerhouse teams of the 1990s, culminating in two NBA Finals appearances in 1997 and 1998, where they lost both times to the Chicago Bulls, led by Michael Jordan.

Both Stockton and Malone moved on in 2003. After missing the playoffs for three consecutive seasons the Jazz returned to prominence under the on-court leadership of point guard Deron Williams. However, partway through the 2010–11 season, the Jazz began restructuring after Sloan’s retirement and Williams’ trade to the New Jersey Nets. Quin Snyder was hired as head coach in June 2014.

Under Snyder’s leadership, the Jazz have experienced success. The franchise qualified for the playoffs for three consecutive years from 2017–2019 with players such as Gordon Hayward, Rudy Gobert, Mike Conley Jr. and Donovan Mitchell as centerpieces.