The daily preview it to the rim with NBA tips as Western Conference rivals Utah Jazz and Denver Nuggets complete their regular season series.
14:00 (AEDT), Thu 3rd Feb @ Vivint Arena, Salt Lake City
History: Played 234: Jazz 135 V Nuggets 99
Last meeting: January 16, 2022: Jazz 125 d Nuggets 102 at Ball Arena
Final Thoughts: Denver Nuggets roll into Salt Lake City on a back-to-back, completing their regular-season series against a slumping Utah Jazz outfit that has lost their last five games.
The Jazz have won all three of their clashes with the Nuggets so far this season. The carved out a 122-110 victory at home in October, before prevailing 115-109 and 125-102 in Denver last month.
Bojan Bogdanovic scored 57 points in the two wins at Ball Arena, while Donovan Mitchell (31 pts) and Rudy Gobert (18 pts, 19 reb) starred in the most recent clash. Nikola Jokic averaged 25 points, 14 rebounds and 10.3 assists across the three defeats.
But Utah have won just one other game in the past four weeks outside their twin victories over Denver. The Jazz have slid to a 30-21 record – fourth in the West – with 11 losses from their last 13 games. They are coming off consecutive double-digit road losses to the Grizzlies (119-109) and Timberwolves (126-106). Bogdanovic and Mike Conley combined for 45 points against Minnesota, while Hassan Whiteside pulled down 12 rebounds.
The Jazz have been ravaged by injuries. Marquee duo Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell are currently sidelined, while Aussie veteran Joe Ingles has heartbreakingly been struck down by a season-ending ACL tear. Whiteside and Trent Forrest are both day-to-day.
The 28-22 Nuggets made serious ground in January, climbing to fifth with 10 wins in 13 games. They closed out the month with five straight wins – culminating in a 136-100 blowout of the Bucks in Milwaukee – but were humbled 130-115 by the Timberwolves 24 hours out from this showdown.
MVP candidate Jokic (21 pts, 16 reb, 8 ast) was typically strong against Minnesota but few other Nuggets stood out. Denver are depleted as well, DeMarcus Cousins joining long-term absentees Michael Porter Jr and Jamal Murray on the sidelines.
But the Nuggets’ three-point percentage has improved drastically in recent weeks and they have moved into the NBA’s top 10 in offensive efficiency.
The Jazz are 15-10 at home (8-17 ATS). The Nuggets are 15-13 on the road (12-16 ATS).
Utah appear to be on a serious downturn on both ends without Gobert and Mitchell. Jokic could do with some support, but his usual level should be enough on its own to power Denver to the W – it’s hard to conceive why they are underdogs here.
Best Bet: Result – Nuggets @ $2.23