Now we’ve got to go out there and continue against three good teams. We’ve got to keep the same energy going. —Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell
SALT LAKE CITY — It’s been well over a month since the Utah Jazz won two games in a row. You have to go back to early December when the Jazz beat New Orleans and Washington in back-to-back home games to find such an accomplishment.
Those wins pushed the Jazz to 13-11, but since then it’s been a struggle as the Jazz have gone just 6-16 to fall into 10th place in the Western Conference.
The Jazz appear to have a good chance to get a second straight win with an upcoming game against the team tied for the worst record in the NBA, the Atlanta Hawks. The Jazz and Hawks meet Monday at 5:30 p.m. MST at Philips Arena.
The Hawks are 13-32, tied with Orlando and Sacramento for the NBA’s worst record. And the Jazz have already handily beat both the Magic and Kings on the road this year.
However, the Jazz have been one of the league’s worst road teams this year at 5-18, better only than Atlanta and Orlando. Utah did win its last road game at Sacramento last Wednesday and is coming off a 125-113 win over the L.A. Clippers Saturday night, a game in which second-leading scorer Rodney Hood didn’t play because of a lower left leg strain.
The victory was one of Utah’s better games of late — offensively anyway — as the Jazz shot 54.9 percent from the field, their fifth best shooting night of the year as six players scored in double figures, led by Donovan Mitchell with 23 points.
“We had a late game last night and came out today ready to play,” said Rudy Gobert, who had 14 points and seven rebounds in his second game back from injury. “It shows our character.”
Now the Jazz will see if they can get some momentum and make a playoff push. Mitchell believes they can.
“We weren’t really sure on the road earlier, but we beat Washington, we beat Boston, beat some good teams on the road,” he said. “Now we’ve got to go out there and continue against three good teams. We’ve got to keep the same energy going.”
While it seems like the Jazz have been on the road for most of the past month, they have a bunch of road games coming up, seven of the next eight in fact. The only home game in that stretch happens to be against the NBA champion Golden State Warriors on Jan. 30.
After playing Atlanta, the Jazz move north to take on Detroit Wednesday night before moving over to Toronto to face the Raptors Friday night. Then after the home game with the Warriors, they go back on the road for games at Phoenix, San Antonio, Memphis and New Orleans.
JAZZ NOTES: The Jazz are currently 4½ games out of the eighth spot in the Western Conference at 19-27. They finish the season with 17 of their final 28 games at home. The Hawks are led by fifth-year guard Dennis Schroder at 20.0 ppg, followed by Kent Bazemore (12.6 ppg), Taurean Prince (12.3 ppg) and Marco Belinelli (11.5 ppg). In beating New Orleans 94-93 in their most recent game on Wednesday, the Hawks only had approximately 5,000 fans because of an ice storm that hit the area. The official attendance (paid) was 10,894, the smallest of the season at Philips Arena. Joe Ingles tied his career high with 21 points against the Clippers. The Jazz had a season-high 29 fouls against the Clippers, but no one fouled out. The Jazz and Hawks meet again on March 20 at Vivint Arena.