Utah (38-12) at Phoenix (35-14)
When: Wednesday, April 7th, 2021
Where: Phoenix Suns Arena,
Time: 10:05 ET | TV: ESPN
Opening Odds: Utah -2/225.5
At this point in the season, not many people who have guessed that the Utah Jazz and Phoenix Suns would have the best records in the NBA. With all the preseason talk about the L.A. Lakers and Clippers, it’s the Jazz and Suns who are stealing the show. Wednesday night’s battle will be the team’s second of the season and Utah will come in as small 2-point road favorites. The Jazz enter with the best record (38-12), having won nine of 10, while the Suns (35-14) come in on a six-game winning streak and lead the Pacific Division. The Jazz are coming off of a 111-103 loss in Dallas on Monday, snapping their nine-game winning streak as the shots were just not falling. Utah is second in the league in shooting the 3 (39.5 percent), but were 12-of-44 in Monday’s setback, while Dallas was 23-of-49. The Suns, meanwhile, had their hands full with the lowly Houston Rockets, escaping with a 133-130 win. In the first meeting back on New Year’s Eve, the Suns came away with a 106-95 win in Salt Lake City – the Jazz’s last home loss. Phoenix has covered three straight meetings after the Jazz covered five straight and the under is 7-2 in the last nine.
Mike Conley led the Jazz with 28 points on Monday – his highest output since Jan. 1 when he scored 33 in a win over the Clippers. Donovan Mitchell, who leads the team with 25.4 points per game, was 6-of-23 including 0-of-8 from beyond the arc and finished with just 16 points. Rudy Gobert had a solid game with 14 points on 6-of-6 shooting and grabbed 15 rebounds. The Jazz rank in the top five in both scoring (116.9) and defensive scoring (107.2) and hold their opponents to just 34.4 percent shooting from long range. Utah will open a five-game homestand Thursday night against the Portland Trail Blazers.
As usual, Devin Booker led the Suns in scoring Monday, pouring in 36 to raise his average to a team-leading 25.9. Booker, who drained 6-of-8 from 3-point territory, had 25 points in the Suns win over Utah earlier this season. Chris Paul had a big night Monday, dishing out 11 assists to become just the fifth player with 10 or more assists in 500 career games. Utah Jazz legend John Stockton leads with 863. Paul moved past 10,000 assists in his career earlier this season, and now ranks sixth in NBA history with 10,074. Deandre Ayton had a monster game with 27 points and 11 rebounds, while hitting 10 of his 14 shots from the field. The Suns will be at the L.A. Clippers on Thursday.
This should be a terrific game between these Western Conference powers, but I’ll take the Suns at home. The Jazz are just 1-4 ATS in their last five road games, while the Suns have covered six straight at home against teams with winning records. Phoenix always seems to play better against good teams.
Check out who Bobby Babowski has on his Free NBA Picks page for today.
Pick: Suns +2