The San Antonio Spurs (48-9) take on the Utah Jazz (28-28) at the Vivint Smart Home Arena to complete a back-to-back. Spurs are 20-9 on the road this season.
Spurs look to take down the Jazz and stop their seven game home winning streak as they invade Utah. This will be the third time this season that these two have met. San Antonio showed in their previous two that they have no trouble in handling the Jazz beating them by a combined 62 points.
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The Jazz were playing without Rudy Gobert in both meetings. Gobert is averaging 2.5 blocks per game this season. Over their last three games Utah has put up 113 per game. Derrick Favors has averaged 21.3 points on 58.1 percent shooting in those games.
San Antonio is coming off a 108-82 win against the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night. Kawhi Leonard returned to the lineup after missing the last three with tightness in his calf to score 18. Tony Parker led the Spurs with 23.
The Jazz are coming off of a 117-114 overtime win against the Houston Rockets on Tuesday. Gordon Hayward scored 28 points on just seven shots from the field, making six. He was 3 of 4 on 3-pointers and 13 for 15 at the foul line. With just seven shots attempted, Hayward became the fourth player to have 27 points on seven or fewer shots.
San Antonio looking to win their fourth-straight as Utah is looking to win their eighth-straight at home. Utah has scored just 89.5 per game on 43.7 percent shooting in the series versus San Antonio.
The Spurs last season, lost both visits in Salt Lake City.
What are the keys to a San Antonio Spurs victory against the Utah Jazz?
Jan 6, 2016; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard (2) shoots the ball against the Utah Jazz during the first half at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
-Kawhi Leonard / Gordon Hayward
Leonard didn’t seem to miss a beat on the defensive end as he had four steals during the teams win against the Kings on Wednesday. He will likely be matched up against Hayward. Hayward coming off of a 28 point performance against the Rockets on Tuesday will have his hands full. In his last nine meetings against San Antonio, Hayward is averaging 13.9 points on 34 percent shooting.
-Defense, Defense, Defense
They gave up 92 points against the Kings but their defense has to tighten up more. The Kings were able to move the ball on the Spurs defense as they assisted on 27 of the teams 39 made baskets. Rajon Rondo contributed to half of the total as he finished with 18.
-Play Spurs Basketball
It all comes down to playing Spurs basketball. San Antonio needs to have the same energy they had during the first half of their game against the Kings. Their defense shutdown the Kings DeMarcus Cousins which took him out of the game early on, which is what San Antonio needed. Same needs to happen in Utah against Hayward. Ball movement as well as player movement will cause Utah to have to defend. A lot of weapons that the Spurs have that can keep the Jazz on their toes.
The Jazz are looking to continue their success at home agains the Spurs dating back to last season. During their winning streak at home the Jazz are allowing an average of 88.1 points in regulation. The Spurs come into the game looking to continue their hot shooting against the Jazz as they shot 58 percent from the floor while hitting 18 of 42 from 3.