Mon, Mar 22, 2021
By Jim Vassallo (Veri.bet Writer)
The league-best Utah Jazz take their 30-11 record on the road Monday, March 22, to visit the Chicago Bulls (19-22) at 9 PM ET.
The Jazz have the top spot in the Western Conference and are two games ahead of the Phoenix Suns. The Bulls are in 10th in the Eastern Conference, just one game out of the final playoff spot.
This is the first time these two teams are facing each other this season. Utah is 14-9 on the road, while Chicago is 9-14 at home.
The Jazz are 5-5 in their last 10 games played and are coming off a 115-112 win over the Toronto Raptors.
Donovan Mitchell tallied 31 points for the Jazz in the victory. Eight of those points came in the final minute and a half of the game.
“It's not so much getting there, it's finding ways to get there," said Mitchell. "For me, knowing how to get those fouls is what's important. We got into the bonus fairly early so that made it easier. It just feels like it's part of my game, being aggressive. That's what's going to take this team to another level."
The Jazz pulled down 48 rebounds to just 31 by the Raptors to help in the winning cause.
Chicago enters tonight fresh off a 100-86 win over the Detroit Pistons.
Laurie Markkanen had 16 points and eight rebounds as the Bulls used a strong defensive effort to stimy the Pistons offense.
"These guys are always working to get better," Bulls coach Billy Donovan said. "We've had some tough losses lately — the kind of losses that can linger — and I've been around teams where that's been a problem. This group is good at avoiding that."
Daniel Gafford had a strong night off the bench for the Bulls, recording eight points and 11 rebounds.
"I'm grateful for every chance I get," said Gafford. "I was in the starting lineup and I took it for granted. I thought I could just keep doing it, and now I've learned I have to keep earning it."
Donovan was happy with how his bench performed.
"I was very happy with what we got from the bench guys tonight," Donovan said. "They got us back into the game in the second quarter. so I went back to them in the third quarter and they played just as well."
Only three players are on the injury list today: Devon Dotson (CHI) is out and not with the team, Garrett Temple (CHI) is out with an ankle injury, and Udoka Azubuike (UTAH) is out with an ankle injury.
In what should be an easy victory tonight for the Jazz, you could make a splash by placing a wager on this lopsided contest. The Jazz are favored at -9 with an over-under of 231 total points. Put your money on the spread at -9 in favor of the Jazz to win on Monday night as the Jazz run away with this one.