The Utah Jazz already have one of the NBA’s best home records, and their recent play on the road may make them even more dangerous in the Western Conference.
The Jazz look to win six straight road games for the first time in eight years when they meet the Golden State Warriors for the first time this season Friday.
Although it has the best home record in the NBA over the last four seasons, Utah hasn’t been nearly as successful on the road during that stretch, playing 19 games below .500.
Recently, however, the Jazz (34-19) have been outstanding outside of EnergySolutions Arena. They opened a four-game trip with a 104-95 win over Houston on Tuesday and beat New Orleans 98-90 on Wednesday.
Utah has improved to 12-12 on the road and is averaging 106.4 points and shooting 52.4 percent in its last seven games away from home after averaging 94.5 points and shooting 45.2 percent in the first 17.
The Jazz, who have won 15 of 17 overall, haven’t won six straight on the road since Feb. 12-20, 2002.
Paul Millsap(notes) led the Jazz on Wednesday, scoring 24 points on 11-of-13 shooting while adding eight rebounds, three steals and three blocked shots. Utah committed an uncharacteristic 22 turnovers and scored 17 points in the first quarter, but it ended the game on a 13-5 run.
“When Paul is given a lot of minutes, he’s always produced,” said Deron Williams(notes), who had 16 points and 10 assists. “It’s on coach (Jerry Sloan) to find him some time to get him out there. If it’s Paul’s night, you’ve got to ride with him.”
Millsap was coming off a 20-point performance on Tuesday. He’s averaging 11.6 points but has scored 17.2 over the last 12.
Golden State (15-38) is looking to win its third straight at home after routing Sacramento 130-98 on Wednesday. The Warriors have won two of three overall after winning twice in their previous 15 games.
“I just tried to go out and play aggressively,” said Watson, who is averaging 9.3 points. “I knew Monta wasn’t playing so I had to pick up the scoring load and pick up the defensive load and try to get some points in transition. Shots fell for me and we won.”
Ellis has missed the last three games, but the Warriors have scored at least 130 twice. Stephen Curry(notes) has certainly helped the ball movement. He finished with a career-high 15 assists Wednesday after recording 13 in a 132-102 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers before the All-Star break.
“We play different, I don’t know if it’s better,” Curry said. “We pass the ball, everybody is spreading the floor and the ball movement is always there. … Monta is a great player. I guess when he’s out, everyone has to step up and move the ball for us to be successful.”
Ellis is expected to miss another week, according to coach Don Nelson.
The Warriors and Jazz split four meetings last season. Watson scored a then career-high 38 points in a 118-108 victory in Utah on April 11.