The Utah Jazz are playing some of their best basketball of the season, but they’re still not taking anything for granted—even with the NBA’s worst team in town.
The Jazz look for a fifth consecutive home win while trying to hand the New Jersey Nets an 11th straight loss Saturday night.
Utah (24-18) bounced back from a seven-point defeat at Denver by securing their first season sweep of San Antonio in 16 seasons with a 105-98 victory over the Spurs on Wednesday.
Fully healthy and tied for sixth in the crowded Western Conference, Utah is averaging 107.6 points and shooting 50.2 percent while winning six of eight since losing three in a row.
“We’ve been playing good, having some fun,” forward Carlos Boozer(notes) told the Jazz’s official Web site after recording his 25th double-double of the season with 31 points and 13 rebounds against the Spurs. “We’re having a good time.”
Despite their recent success and the obvious confidence that’s come with it, the Jazz are doing their best to stay focused no matter who’s next on the schedule. Before facing playoff contenders Phoenix and Portland next week, Utah first must deal with New Jersey (3-39), which fell to 1-22 on the road after losing 111-79 at Golden State on Friday.
“You can’t take them lightly,” said Boozer, who’s scored 67 points and pulled down 19 rebounds in his last two games against the Nets. “They are still a talented team. I just hope we can win the game.”
That’s very much possible based on the way the Jazz have played at home. Utah is 16-6 at EnergySolutions Arena and averaging 111.0 points on 52.7 percent shooting during its four-game home winning streak.
Still searching for their first road victory since beating Chicago 103-101 on Dec. 8, the Nets have lost 10 straight away from home entering the finale of a four-game road trip.
“This is another game where we could not hit a shot when we needed it,” New Jersey coach Kiki Vandeweghe said.
Averaging 23.8 points with 9.2 rebounds in his last six games, the 7-foot Lopez will likely need to again carry the load if star guard Devin Harris(notes) is unable to play after aggravating a sprained right wrist Friday. Harris is averaging 15.3 points overall, but 8.3 in his last three contests.
Lopez had 23 points and 10 boards in last month’s loss to Utah.
The Nets are looking for their first victory since beating New York 104-95 on Dec. 30.