The rematch is here!

Just 48 hours after a phenomenal performance with a very shorthanded roster, the Jazz have reinforcements on the way when they host first-place Phoenix on Wednesday night. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. MST and will be broadcast on ESPN.

“You get confidence from playing hard and playing together,” head coach Quin Snyder said Monday night. “You get confidence from having an identity, and our identity as a team has gone in and out at times this year. So that confidence will come when we continue to perform at a certain level.”

When these two teams met on Monday night, Utah was playing with one of its most shorthanded rosters of the season. Not only were all five starters were out due to injury, but the Jazz were also missing Joe Ingles, the first man off the bench. 

Fortunately, four players are expected to return to the court tonight. Mike Conley, Bojan Bogdanovic, Royce O’Neale, and Ingles are all expected to play, giving the Jazz a much-needed boost. 

Bogdanovic’s return is the key for Utah as he has been sensational over the past three games, averaging 24.3 points and 6.3 rebounds as the team’s primary scoring option. 

Conley’s return is also a very welcome sight as the veteran point guard gives the Jazz a proven player to run the offense and play defense, which is vital when going up against Chris Paul and Devin Booker. 

O’Neale is Utah’s best perimeter defender, which should come in handy after Booker dropped 33 points two nights ago. Ingles is the team’s other primary ball-handler, capable of influencing a game with his three-point shooting and ability to direct the offense.

While the good news is that Utah is nearing full strength, they’ll still be without key players in Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert — all-stars with more than enough ability to win games on their own. Mitchell remains in concussion protocol while Gobert is out with a left calf strain. 

Despite being severely hampered on Monday night, the Jazz gave a spirited effort as seven players finished in double figures. 

Trent Forrest had a career night with 17 points and four steals — and with Mitchell still out, should continue to see an uptick in minutes. Jordan Clarkson finished with a team-high 22 points, catching fire by knocking down three straight three-pointers on consecutive possessions to turn an 11-point deficit into a five-point game with just over a minute to play.

But Utah ran out of steam in the end and couldn’t complete the comeback. 

“I think that’s something that our team needs to continue to replicate night in and night out,” Snyder said. “That’s something that’s within our control. … Playing with that level of intensity.”

Utah (30-18, 15-9 home / No. 4 Western Conference)
*114.1 Points Per Game (No. 1 in NBA)
*115.9 Offensive Rating (No. 1 in NBA)

*107.3 Points Per Game (No. 12 in NBA)
*108.9 Defensive Rating (No. 11 in NBA)

*Bojan Bogdanovic: 18.1 points / 4.2 rebounds / 38.7% 3P-shooting
*Jordan Clarkson: 15.3 points / 3.5 rebounds / 26.3 minutes
*Mike Conley: 14.0 points / 5.2 assists / 42.4% 3P-shooting
*Rudy Gay: 9.3 points / 4.7 rebounds / 20.3 minutes

Phoenix (37-9, 18-4 away / No. 1 Western Conference)
*112.5 Points Per Game (No. 3 in NBA)
*112.3 Offensive Rating (No. 4 in NBA)

*104.6 Points Per Game (No. 6 in NBA)
*104.4 Defensive Rating (No. 2 in NBA)
*Devin Booker: 24.5 points / 5.4 rebounds / 4.4 assists / 37.8% 3P-shooting
*Chris Paul: 14.4 points / 10.2 assists / 4.4 rebounds
*Mikal Bridges: 12.1 points / 4.1 rebounds / 37.5% 3P-shooting
*Cam Johnson: 11.8 points / 43% 3P-shooting

Mike Conley vs. Chris Paul
— Two of the greatest point guards of their generation go head-to-head on Wednesday night, each needed a big performance to help their team win. Paul dropped a near triple-double on Monday against the Jazz, but that was with Conley sidelined. Now back, expect Conley to not only defend Paul, but pick up some scoring slack with Donovan Mitchell still out.

OUT — Donovan Mitchell (Concussion Protocol)
OUT — Rudy Gobert (Left Calf Strain)

OUT — Deandre Ayton (Right Ankle Sprain)
OUT — Jae Crowder (Left Wrist Contusion)
OUT — Frank Kaminsky (Right Knee Stress Reaction)
OUT — Abdel Nader (Right Knee Injury Management)
OUT — Cameron Payne (Right Wrist Sprain)
OUT — Dario Saric (Right ACL Tear)

Time: 8:00 p.m. MST
Location: Vivint Arena / Salt Lake City, UT
TV: AT&T SportsNet / ESPN
Radio: 1280 The Zone 


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