Preview and Prediction: San Antonio Spurs at Utah Jazz

The San Antonio Spurs are back in action on Friday night against the Utah Jazz after more than a week away due to the All-Star break. The last time we saw the Spurs, they were defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder by a score of 114-106 to snap a five-game losing streak. The Spurs are 23-31 on the season, four and a half games behind the eighth seeded Memphis Grizzlies, who have a record of 28-27.

The Jazz are 36-18 and have won four straight games — the longest current winning streak in the Western Conference. Their last three wins came against playoff bound teams: the Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets. Utah is currently fourth in the West, a half game behind the Los Angeles Clippers and one and a half games behind the Denver Nuggets.

DeMar DeRozan Injury Update – Back Spasms

After missing the final two games before the All-Star break, in which the Spurs went 1-1, DeMar DeRozan will be back in the lineup for San Antonio. DeRozan had been sidelined with back spasms, however getting nearly two weeks off has him feeling “perfect.”

Getting DeRozan back is good news for the Spurs. The 30-year-old is averaging 23.0 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists on the season. Over his last 24 games, he has been great and has made a positive impact on the court.

Mike Conley Injury Update

Mike Conley has struggled with various injuries this season. As a result, his first season with the Jazz hasn’t gone as expected. He’s averaging just 13.5 points and 4.2 assists, while shooting a career-low 39.2% from the field.

In an effort to try to keep him healthy, Conley won’t play against the Spurs. Instead, the Jazz will rest him to make sure he’s ready to go against the Houston Rockets on Saturday night.

Spurs at Jazz – Key Matchup

The last time these two teams played, the Spurs got a 127-120 victory in San Antonio. DeRozan led the way with an A+ performance that saw him score 38 points, grab five rebounds and hand out five assists, while hitting 11-of-19 from the field and 16-of-19 from the line.

For the Spurs to win tonight, they’ll need another monster performance from DeRozan. If he can get to the line a lot and create for his teammates, that’d give San Antonio a chance to pull the upset.

Prediction: Spurs at Jazz

The Jazz are the favorites; oddsmakers see them winning 114-107. The Spurs, though, have played better against better teams as of late. I believe that trend will continue. Even though the Jazz enter this game 20-5 at home, I believe the Spurs will go to Salt Lake City and emerge with a close win.

San Antonio Spurs – 109
Utah Jazz – 108