Donovan Mitchell looks to continue his stellar stretch when the Utah Jazz host the Chicago Bulls on Saturday. Mitchell has scored 33 points in back-to-back contests and has topped 25 in four straight games for the first time in his young career.
Mitchell, who was 4-for-5 from 3-point range, recorded 33 points and a season-best nine assists as the Jazz routed the visiting Los Angeles Lakers 113-95 on Friday. "I understood they would try to stop me from scoring, which allowed me to make those reads," second-year pro Mitchell said in a postgame television interview. "We need to keep playing defense. I think that's what turned it up for us." Chicago has lost six straight games and was clobbered 146-109 by Golden State on Friday in the second contest of its six-game road trip. "They just jumped on us, and we didn't respond very well," Bulls coach Jim Boylen said during his postgame press conference. "We've got to do better."
TV: 10 p.m. ET, NBCS Chicago, AT&T SportsNet-Rocky Mountain (Utah) LINE: Jazz -11
ABOUT THE BULLS (10-32): Chicago never was in the game against the Warriors as it trailed 43-17 after the opening quarter and lwas outscored 40-21 in the third. The Bulls have lost by an average of 17.2 points during their six-game slide and have allowed an average of 135 over their last two contests. Zach LaVine scored 29 points on 10-of-16 shooting on Friday and is averaging 26.3 over his last four games.
ABOUT THE JAZZ (22-21): Utah is 2-0 to begin a stretch in which eight of nine games are at home, and Mitchell is averaging eight assists during the victories while picking up the bulk of the point-guard chores. Starter Ricky Rubio (hamstring) and backups Dante Exum (ankle) and Raul Neto (groin) all are injured, and Neto's injury that occurred during Wednesday's victory over Orlando leaves the club without a true point guard. "It's easy for me to do that with the injuries we have," Mitchell said of engineering a fast pace under the circumstances. "I'm able to just go because that's the offense right now."
1. The teams split last season's two meetings.
2. Utah C Rudy Gobert recorded 12 points and 18 rebounds against the Lakers for his third straight double-double and 34th of the season.
3. Chicago PF Bobby Portis (ankle) is averaging 16 points in three contests and has made 7-of-11 attempts from 3-point range since returning from a seven-game absence.
PREDICTION: Jazz 116, Bulls 93 Bet Now
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