At 9PM tonight, the Miami Heat will visit the Utah Jazz for an inter-conference showdown. This will be the second of two meetings between the teams this season. The Heat defeated the Jazz, 92-91 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, FL on November 12th. Miami is playing in the second game of a six-game roadtrip. They started it out last night with a 103-95 win over the Phoenix Suns, and will go on to play the Golden State Warriors on Monday, the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday, the Denver Nuggets on Friday, and the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday. The Jazz just completed a two-game roadtrip themselves losing to the San Antonio Spurs 123-98 on Wednesday and and 103-94 to the Houston Rockets on Thursday. After tonight's game, they'll embark on another two game trip, against the Los Angeles Lakers tomorrow and the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday.
As already noted, the 5-3 Heat defeated 4-3 Utah in Miami on November 12th. Chris Bosh led Miami with 25 points, eight rebounds, four assists and four blocks. Tyler Johnson helped out with 17 off the bench with four rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal, and Goran Dragic scored 14 with four assists, three rebounds, and two steals. Derrick Favors had 25 with 12 rebounds, seven blocks, three steals, and two assists, Gordon Hayward had 24 with 11 rebounds and three assists, and Alec Burks came off the bench with 24 points, three boards, two helpers and a steal.
Tyler is awesome. He can play. He's had a great camp, he comes in and he works hard every day, works on his weaknesses, goes out there and lays it on the line and competes. He's literally started from the bottom and worked his way up into playing a very huge role for this team. - Bosh
SLC Dunk has more on Utah.
Miami's last game was a 103-95 win last night in Phoenix against the Suns. Dwyane Wade scored 27 points on nine-of-14 shooting, Goran Dragic had 22 with seven assists, and Gerald Green pitched in 21 off the bench. Justise Winslow had 10 rebounds, and Amar'e Stoudemire registered three rejections against his former team. Brandon Knight scored 26 points with four assists and four rebounds in defeat.
You always want to play good against your ex-team. - Dragic, who along with Green and Stoudemire also played for Phoenix.
For news on Phoenix, go to Bright Side Of The Sun.
The Jazz played on the road in Houston on Thursday night, and lost by a 103-94 final score. James Harden scored 33 points with eight rebounds in the Rockets' win. Terrence Jones scored 14, Jason Terry and Marcus Thornton scored a dozen each, and Clint Capela had 10 boards. For the Suns, Gordon Hayward led the club with 15 points. Trevor Booker had 12 with nine boards, and Trey Lyles had nine points and nine rebounds.
He's a terrific player. I don't know what more we could have done. - Jazz coach Quin Snyder on Harden
Head over to The Dream Shake for more on Houston.
Line: Miami by 1 1/2.
All-Time Head-to-Head: Miami is 24-33 all-time against Utah. They lost the first 16 contests between the two, won the last 11, and have not lost in Utah since 2008.
Miami Heat: 22-14, .611, on pace for 50-32. First in the Southeast Division, third in the Eastern Conference, seventh in the NBA. Last Five: W-W-W-L-W. Playoff Odds: 81.7%
Utah Jazz: 15-20, .429, on pace for 35-47. Second in the Northwest Division, eighth in the Western Conference, 20th in the NBA. Last Five: W-W-L-L-L. Playoff Odds: 72.7%
Josh McRoberts has missed Miami's last 15 games and will be out for an extended period of time with a knee injury.
Alec Burks suffered a left ankle sprain and a concussion on December 27th and will miss a significant amount of time.
Dante Exum tore his left ACL back in August and will be out for the entire season.
Derrick Favors is questionable tonight with back spasms.
Rodney Hood is also questionable after leaving Utah's last game with a sore right ankle.