Utah faces New Orleans in a matchup of Western Conference teams. Thursday’s meeting will be the third of the season between the two teams. Utah is 14-9 against the Western Conference, and New Orleans is 12-6 against conference opponents.
New Orleans Pelicans (18-9, first in the Western Conference) vs. Utah Jazz (16-14, eighth in the Western Conference)
Salt Lake City; Thursday, 9 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans visit Lauri Markkanen and the Utah Jazz in Western Conference play Thursday.
The Jazz have gone 14-9 against Western Conference opponents. Utah has a 4-2 record in games decided by 3 points or fewer.
The Pelicans are 12-6 against Western Conference opponents. New Orleans is third in the Western Conference giving up just 111.0 points while holding opponents to 46.1% shooting.
The teams meet for the third time this season. The Jazz won 121-100 in the last matchup on Dec. 14.
TOP PERFORMERS: Jordan Clarkson is averaging 19.5 points and 4.8 assists for the Jazz. Markkanen is averaging 22.1 points and 8.6 rebounds over the last 10 games for Utah.
Williamson is averaging 25 points, 7.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists for the Pelicans. CJ McCollum is averaging 12.7 points over the last 10 games for New Orleans.
LAST 10 GAMES: Jazz: 4-6, averaging 117.5 points, 44.5 rebounds, 25.0 assists, 6.5 steals and 4.8 blocks per game while shooting 49.1% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 115.9 points per game.
Pelicans: 8-2, averaging 117.0 points, 45.3 rebounds, 26.6 assists, 9.8 steals and 4.7 blocks per game while shooting 48.5% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 111.6 points.
Pelicans: E.J. Liddell: out (right knee), Brandon Ingram: out (toe).