They came off a tough loss against Golden State and we have to be ready for them to be in full attack mode and we need to keep playing the way we have. —Donovan Mitchell
SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Jazz are riding high with a 10-game winning streak, best in the NBA, and have a home game tonight against a team that has the worst record in the NBA and has lost nine of its last 10 games, including a 46-point blowout against Golden State Monday night.
So the Jazz should easily cruise to their 11th straight win at Vivint Arena over the sorry 18-40 Phoenix Suns, who they beat by 32 points just two weeks ago, right?
Of course they should, but the Jazz learned a lesson earlier this season when they played the Suns in Phoenix after the Suns had lost games by 48 and 42 the week before. The Jazz had easily beaten Phoenix in two preseason games, but in that late-October game, the Suns came out with more energy and led from start to finish in a 97-88 victory.
Donovan Mitchell sees the parallels in the two situations.
“We did that in preseason, we played really well against them and they came out ready to go at us. We weren’t ready to handle it,” he said. “So we’re going to expect the same energy today. They came off a tough loss against Golden State and we have to be ready for them to be in full attack mode and we need to keep playing the way we have.”
Coach Quin Snyder is also not looking past the Suns and warned his team not to start taking their All-Star break too early.
“The thing I told our guys this morning is we can’t talk about the All-Star break right now,” he said. “We have to block that out the same way we blocked it out when we were going through a tough stretch in December.”
JAZZ NOTES: The Jazz confirmed Wednesday morning that Ricky Rubio would miss his third straight game because of a sore hip. The Jazz are 1-1 against Phoenix this year and will play the Suns again on March 15. Following the nine-day All-Star break, the Jazz will have four straight home games, beginning with Portland on Feb. 23 and Dallas the following night.