Mavericks (28-16) at Jazz (31-13)
Time: 4 p.m. CT
Place: Vivant Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City
Radio: ESPN, 103.3 FM, Univision, 1270 AM (Spanish)
About the Mavs: This is their first meeting of the season with the Jazz and it will be their only visit to Utah this season . . . It’s the proverbial immovable object against the unstoppable force. The Mavericks are 15-5 on the road, where they have won three in a row. The Jazz, meanwhile, have been unbeatable at home since Dec. 9 (see below) . . . Salt Lake City has not been kind to the Mavericks lately. They’ve lost six consecutive times on the Jazz’s home floor . . . This is the middle game on the three-game trip that opened with a 133-125 win at Portland on Thursday. In that game, the Mavericks played smaller and reaped the rewards with 22-of-47 3-point shooting. They had a 45-point first quarter and managed to hang tough in the rebounding department despite having three guards on the floor much of the time . . . Jalen Brunson was a point-per-minute fiend in Portland, dropping in 17 points in 17 minutes to lead a bench brigade that outscored the Blazers’ reserves 47-22 . . . Luka Doncic’s next triple double will be the 21st of his career, tying Jason Kidd for most in franchise history. He already has a franchise-record 12 triple doubles this season.
About the Jazz: There is no hotter team in the NBA. The Jazz have won 18 of their last 20 games and 11 of those victories have been by double digits . . . They are 17-3 at home, best in the Western Conference The last team to win in Utah was Oklahoma City on Dec. 9 . . . Their latest win was by 33 on the road against the woeful Warriors . . . Point guard Mike Conley returned in that game from a hamstring strain, playing only 18 minutes off the bench, scoring eight points . . . They have an ultra-talented roster led by Donovan Mitchell at 24.7 points per game, along with 4.2 rebounds and 4.2 assists . . . What might surprise some people is their second-leading scorer: Bojan Bogdanovic at 21.1 points . . . Rudy Gobert missed out on being an All-Star starter, but every team would love to have the long Frenchman, who is averaging 15.6 points, 14.5 rebounds and nearly two blocks per game . . . They are the best 3-point shooting team in the league by percentage at .389 . . . If you’re looking for good news, it’s that the Jazz are just 7-8 against teams with winning records . . . In addition, the best chance for success against them is to make it a defensive struggle. The Jazz are 1-5 when failing to reach 100 points.