The road is not so smooth for the San Antonio Spurs, who dropped the first three of their eight-game rodeo road trip while surrendering an average of 131.7 points. The Spurs will try to turn things around on the defensive end and keep their hopes of a winning trip alive when they visit the Utah Jazz on Saturday.
San Antonio took a five-game winning streak into the trip but fell at Sacramento on Monday before getting blown off the court in a 141-102 loss at Golden State on Wednesday and dropping a 127-118 decision at Portland the next night. The Spurs allowed the Kings, Warriors and Trail Blazers to shoot a combined 55.8 percent from the floor and fell to 10-18 on the road overall with Thursday's loss at Portland. The Jazz, who are percentage points ahead of San Antonio for the No. 6 spot in the Western Conference, are winners of 11 of their last 14 after blasting the Phoenix Suns 116-88 on Wednesday. Utah, like the Spurs, did not make any big moves in front of Thursday's trade deadline, with rumored deals shipping point guard Ricky Rubio out of town never materializing.
TV: 5 p.m. ET, FS Southwest (San Antonio), AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain (Utah) LINE: Jazz -6.5
ABOUT THE SPURS (32-25): Immune from the team's struggles on the road trip is shooting guard DeMar DeRozan, who is 24-of-43 from the floor in two games while sitting out Wednesday's debacle at Golden State to rest. DeRozan did his best to keep San Antonio in the game on Thursday with 35 points, six rebounds and six assists at Portland. Small forward Rudy Gay enjoyed a solid performance at Portland as well with 25 points on 10-of-15 shooting, including 5-of-6 from beyond the arc.
ABOUT THE JAZZ (31-24): Utah allowed the Suns to hang around through three quarters on Wednesday before outscoring them 37-17 in the fourth quarter. "I thought our transition defense in the second half was better, as was just our one-on-one defense," Jazz coach Quin Snyder told reporters. "Offensively, we just settled down. We made some careless plays where we weren't able to convert on defensive possessions. In the second half, we made the extra pass. There was that one stretch, we were getting some good looks because we we're passing the ball." Small forward Joe Ingles was at the front of the charge making the extra pass and finished with a career-high 11 assists.
1. Jazz C Rudy Gobert recorded multiple blocked shots in each of the last 13 games.
2. Spurs SG Lonnie Walker IV (ankle) sat out Thursday and is day-to-day.
3. The home team took each of the last four meetings, with Utah trouncing San Antonio 139-105 at home on Dec. 4.
PREDICTION: Jazz 124, Spurs 110 Bet Now
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