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The Utah Jazz followed up a season-best six-game winning streak with back-to-back defeats and look to halt the skid when they host the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday. Utah played four games in five nights and dropped the last two, including dragging through a 103-93 road loss to the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday.
Jazz coach Quin Snyder pointed to the schedule for the reason why his club experienced a sluggish effort in the loss to the Nuggets. “Everybody’s fatigued. This is January. It’s hard,” Snyder said afterward. “You’re not fatigued when you’re not fouling people. You’re not disciplined. We started making some undisciplined plays and we had breakdowns where we put them on the foul line. All of a sudden, we were playing against a set defense every possession. We were stuck in mud at that point.” Utah is looking to finish off a four-game season sweep of the Lakers for the first time after winning the first three meetings this season by an average of five points. Los Angeles has dropped seven of its last eight games after suffering a 105-98 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT
LINE HISTORY: The Jazz opened as massive 13-point home favorites and briefly were bumped up to 13.5 before returning to the opening number. As for the total, it opened at 203.5 and has been bet down to 202. Check out the complete line history here.
Lakers – PG D’Angelo Russell (Early Feb, knee)
Jazz – SG Rodney Hood (Questionable, knee)
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Lakers (4) – Jazz (-8.1) + home court (-3) = Thunder -6
ABOUT THE LAKERS (16-33 SU, 21-27-1 ATS, 26-22-1 O/U): The Los Angeles starters totaled just 27 points — 15 by shooting guard Nick Young — in the loss to Portland while backup guards Lou Williams (31) and Jordan Clarkson (22) combined for 53. Clarkson played 35 minutes against the Trail Blazers and will continue to receive extensive minutes while starting point guard D’Angelo Russell is sidelined with knee and calf injuries. Williams matched his season high of six 3-pointers against Portland and is averaging 24.6 points over the past five games.
ABOUT THE JAZZ (29-18 SU, 21-25-1 ATS, 22-25 O/U): Standout small forward Gordon Hayward has shot less than 37 percent from the field in four of the past five games and had one of his worst performances of the seasons against the Nuggets. Hayward scored nine points on 2-of-10 shooting, marking just the second time he finished in single digits in the past two-plus months. “He had a bad game,” Snyder said afterward. “He’s had a lot of really good games. I’m telling everybody not to talk about fatigue, but some of it was he has to get his juice back. That’s hard to do if you don’t have off-days; you just have to grind.”
* Lakers are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 road games.
* Jazz are 1-11 ATS in their last 12 vs. Western Conference.
* Under is 5-1 in Lakers last 6 games following a ATS win.
* Under is 9-2 in Jazz last 11 vs. Western Conference.
Check out a complete list of hot and cold trends, here.
COVERS CONSENSUS: 56 percent of the picks on Covers are siding with the road underdog Los Angeles Lakers and Over is picking up 56 percent of the totals wagers. View full consensus data here.