For the first time since the 2018 season, Utah will be playing on the NBA’s most hallowed day when the Jazz host the Dallas Mavericks. Tipoff is set for 8:30 p.m. MST and will be broadcast on ESPN.
You have one more thing to add to your Christmas morning to-do list …https://t.co/xqnIe1rxpv
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) December 24, 2021
The game will be the final of five games that day: New York vs. Atlanta; Milwaukee vs. Boston; Phoenix vs. Golden State; Los Angeles Lakers vs. Brooklyn.
In what was expected to be one of the highlights of the Christmas Day games, the teams enter Saturday heading in vastly different directions.
After suffering two tough losses to San Antonio and Washington, the Jazz have responded with victories over current-playoff teams Charlotte and Minnesota. Meanwhile, the Mavericks appeared to be figuring things out before injuries and a COVID-19 outbreak severely hampered the team over the past few weeks.
Rudy Gobert has been particularly impressive over the past two games, averaging 21.5 points, 19 rebounds, 2.5 blocks, and two assists per game. He’s controlling both ends of the court and has impressed with his ability to finish with his back to the basket.
Things you love to see #TakeNote pic.twitter.com/FlprCYbWuN
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) December 24, 2021
Since the organization moved to Salt Lake City following the 1978-79 season, Utah has gone 4-1 in Christmas Day games. Before the 2018 game, the Jazz last played on Dec. 25 in 1997 — the heyday of the John Stockton/Karl Malone era.
The Jazz took down Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers for a 117-96 victory four seasons ago. Mitchell led eight Utah players in double figures with 19 points, while Gobert added a double-double of 18 points, 14 rebounds, and seven blocks.
CHRISTMAS DAY SCHEDULE (MST)
New York Knicks vs. Atlanta Hawks — 10 a.m. / ESPN
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Boston Celtics — 12:30 p.m. / ABC
Phoenix Suns vs. Golden State Warriors — 3 p.m. / ABC
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Brooklyn Nets — 6 p.m. / ABC
Utah Jazz vs. Dallas Mavericks — 8:30 p.m. / ESPN
Utah (22-9, 12-6 home / No. 3 Western Conference)
*115.8 Points Per Game (No. 1 in NBA)
*117.1 Offensive Rating (No. 1 in NBA)
*105.4 Points Per Game (No. 8 in NBA)
*106.7 Defensive Rating (No. 6 in NBA)
*Donovan Mitchell: 25.1 points / 5.0 assists / 3.8 rebounds / 1.6 steals
*Rudy Gobert: 15.5 points / 15.1 rebounds / 2.3 blocks / 71.4% shooting
*Mike Conley: 13.9 points / 5.4 assists / 44.7% shooting 3P-territory
*Jordan Clarkson: 14.5 points / 3.3 rebounds / 2.2 assists / 25.0 minutes
Dallas (15-16, 7-8 away / No. 7 Western Conference)
*104.4 Points Per Game (No. 27 in NBA)
*108.2 Offensive Rating (No. 20 in NBA)
*104.6 Points Per Game (No. 5 in NBA)
*108.4 Defensive Rating (No. 13 in NBA)
*Luka Doncic: 25.6 points / 8.5 assists / 8.0 rebounds
*Kristaps Porzingis: 19.4 points / 7.9 rebounds / 1.6 blocks
*Jalen Brunson: 15.5 points / 5.3 assists / 3.9 rebounds
*Dorian Finney-Smith: 10.2 points / 4.7 rebounds / 36.7% 3P-territory
MATCHUP TO WATCH
*Mike Conley vs. Jalen Brunson
— With Gobert and Mitchell stealing all of the headlines as of late, the play of Conley has arguably been most impressive. From his outstanding play-making to tough defense, Conley finds ways to affect the game without scoring. With the Mavs decimated by health and safety protocols, including Luka Doncic, Jalen Brunson will have to be a top playmaker to pair well with Kristaps Porzingis.
OUT — Udoka Azubuike (right ankle sprain)
OUT — Miye Oni (right shoulder sprain)
QUESTIONABLE — Kristaps Porzingis (right toe soreness)
OUT — Luka Doncic (health and safety protocols)
OUT — Reggie Bullock (health and safety protocols)
OUT — Trey Burke (health and safety protocols)
OUT — Willie Cauley-Stein (health and safety protocols)
OUT — Josh Green (health and safety protocols)
OUT — Tim Hardaway Jr. (health and safety protocols)
OUT — Maxi Kleber (health and safety protocols)
OUT — JaQuori McLaughlin (health and safety protocols)
OUT — Eugene Omoruyi (right foot surgery)
Time: 8:30 p.m. MST
Location: Vivint Arena / Salt Lake City, UT
Radio: 1280 The Zone
Mix-and-match up to 10 Jazz games and receive bonus Team Store items such as a pair of socks, hat, hoodie or jersey.https://t.co/sMPnpPOeCB pic.twitter.com/vQ74ParGED
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) December 25, 2021