Preview: Utah At San Antonio
When: 8:30 PM ET, Wednesday, January 6, 2016
Where: AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas
The San Antonio Spurs look to run their home record to 21-0 when they entertain the Utah Jazz on Wednesday. San Antonio has won 29 consecutive home games dating back to last season and is experiencing little trouble winning no matter the location with 12 victories in its last 13 overall games.
The Spurs have won nine consecutive home games against the Jazz, including a 118-81 dismantling of Utah in mid-December. San Antonio possesses the second-best record in the NBA and has a five-game winning streak in which it has won by an average of 19.4 points. Utah is coming off Monday’s disappointing 93-91 loss to the Houston Rockets in which it blew a 15-point third-quarter lead and then watching shooting guard Rodney Hood miss a tying free throw with six seconds left. “It happens like that and you just have to move on,” Hood told reporters. “It stings a little bit because we were in position to win but you’ve got to move on to San Antonio. It’s part of the growing process.”
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, ROOT (Utah), FSN Southwest (San Antonio)
ABOUT THE JAZZ (15-18): Hood might have missed the crucial free throw but he strung together his third consecutive strong game with 23 points and matched his career best of five 3-point baskets. He scored a career-best 32 points against Memphis one game earlier and is averaging 24.3 points over the last three contests – a stretch in which he has gone 14-of-23 from 3-point range. Small forward Gordon Hayward has scored 20 or more points in four of the last six games and is averaging 20.5 points during the stretch.
ABOUT THE SPURS (30-6): San Antonio has recorded season highs for points in back-to-back games – first in a 121-103 win over the Houston Rockets and followed by Monday’s 123-98 thrashing of the Milwaukee Bucks. Small forward Kawhi Leonard averaged 23 points on 17-of-24 shooting in the two games and the fifth-year pro is 11-of-14 from 3-point range over the past five contests to raise his season percentage to a league-leading 50 percent. Center Tim Duncan had 14 points and 10 rebounds against the Bucks in a sharp improvement after going scoreless against the Rockets for the first time (in game 1,360) in his 19-year career.
1. Leonard scored 22 points in 25 minutes in the easy win over the Jazz on Dec. 14.
2. Utah PF Derrick Favors (back) is in jeopardy of missing his seventh straight game.
3. San Antonio PG Tony Parker (hip) hopes to return after missing the Milwaukee contest.
PREDICTION: Spurs 107, Jazz 98