Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
How does one follow up a thrilling fourth-quarter comeback that ended with a go-ahead last second shot in regulation?
How about a rematch? With the same team?
Tonight the Utah Jazz are in Sacramento to complete a home-and-home, back to back matchup with the Kings at Sleep Train Arena.
Last night the Utah Jazz played in and won just their fifth home game of the season and went over the .500 mark for the first time since starting their season 1-0. It took some late game heroics from Gordon Hayward, that I’m sure had every Jazz fan on the edge of their seats, to pull out the victory, but the Jazz have now won three in a row and will look to extend that streak tonight.
If the last five games have been any indication (average margin of victory: 2.8 points), tonight should come down to the wire again.
What to watch for:
- Paul Millsap had a subpar night last night scoring 10 points on 4-9 shooting and gathering only one rebound in just under 20 minutes of play. It was a forgettable night for Millsap. Watch for him to bounce back tonight.
- Earl Watson could get more backup minutes tonight as Jamaal Tinsley could get the start in place of Mo Williams if he is unable to go after spraining his ankle in last night’s game. Earl Watson’s feisty, gritty defense could prove to be a fresh spark off the bench. Earl played his first minutes of the season last night following season ending knee surgery last April. He had 2 rebounds and 2 assists, including a beautiful backdoor alley-oop to Gordon Hayward in the fourth quarter helping spark the Jazz comeback.
- As David Locke pointed out, the Jazz will have to be better defensively tonight in order to get a win on the road. The Jazz allowed Sacramento to shoot 50% overall and 58% from downtown. Those numbers will bury a team on the road.
The Jazz are just 2-6 on the road this year. A win tonight would be a confidence boost as they have to head back on the road later this week.