|5:00 PM PT6:00 PM MT7:00 PM CT8:00 PM ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 PM MST8:00 PM EST5:00 UAE (+1)02:0020:00 ET7:00 PM CT23:00 , January 2, 2020
United Center, Chicago, Illinois Attendance: 19,398
Jazz bring three-game win streak to Chicago
Utah Jazz at Chicago Bulls
- These teams are meeting for the first time since Chicago won both matchups in 2018-19 for its first season sweep of Utah since 2009-10. The Bulls have averaged 91.0 points in 10 meetings since Quin Snyder became Jazz coach; they've averaged more than 97.0 versus every other team during that time.
- Utah has won eight of nine while averaging 49.8 points in the paint. The Jazz have scored at least 50 points in the paint in eight of their last 12 games after doing so just three times in their first 21 games of the season. They're 8-3 this season when scoring 50+ points in the paint.
- The Bulls shot 37.4 percent from the field in Monday's 123-102 loss to Milwaukee, the ninth time this season they've been held under 40 percent - one shy of Orlando and Golden State for most in the NBA. Chicago is a league-worst 0-24 since the start of last season when failing to shoot at least 40 percent.
- Rudy Gobert grabbed 160 rebounds in his final 10 games of 2019, the fourth time in his career he's averaged at least 16.0 in a 10-game span. The only other Jazz player in the last 35 seasons to average 15+ rebounds in a span of 10 games was Karl Malone (15.1 in 1987-88).
- Zach Lavine has been held to 19 points in each of the last two games -- both at home. He's averaging 26.7 points on the road this season but just 20.4 at home, a 6.3 differential which is the second largest in the league behind D.J. Augustin's 6.9 (minimum 10 games at home and on road).
- The Jazz are 29th in the NBA in bench scoring at 27.2 points per game (Hou, 25.2), but Jordan Clarkson has scored 48 off the bench in three games since being acquired from Cleveland. That's the most points off the bench in a player's first three games with Utah since Tom Chambers had 62 in November 1993.
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The streaking Utah Jazz look to ring in the New Year on the right note as they visit the Chicago Bulls on Thursday night.
The Jazz finished 2019 on a three-game winning streak, including victories over the Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles Clippers.
The hot streak coincided with the Dec. 23 trade for Jordan Clarkson, which saw the 27-year-old combo guard join Utah while Dante Exum and draft picks left for Cleveland.
The deal has been extremely impactful in the short term for the Jazz, who have one of the NBA's worst benches. In his first three games with Utah, Clarkson averaged 16.0 points on 47.4 percent shooting.
"I'm really concentrating on the game plan and how to help my team," he told the Salt Lake Tribune. "I have a free mind, not a lot of thinking going into it on the offensive side. Then, I try to lock in our coverages (defensively)."
In Utah's most recent game against the Detroit Pistons, Clarkson scored 20 points off the bench -- the most by any Jazz reserve this season.
Earlier this season, Clarkson had one of his best games of the season against the Bulls. On Oct. 30 while still a member of the Cavaliers, he went to the free-throw line nine times as he scored 17 points in a 117-111 Cleveland win. In 14 career games against the Bulls, he is averaging 14.8 points and 3.1 assists.
The Bulls finished 2019 with Monday's 21-point loss to the Eastern Conference-leading Milwaukee Bucks. Two days before, Chicago had picked up one of its best wins of the season.
The Bulls held the Atlanta Hawks to only 37.2 percent shooting as they posted a 116-81 victory Saturday. The Hawks' 81 points marked the fewest given up by the Bulls all season.
Six players -- Wendell Carter Jr., Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen, Tomas Satoransky, Coby White and Thaddeus Young -- scored in double figures, with Markkanen leading the group with 25 points.
After struggling the first two months of the season, Markkanen turned it around in December. The Finland native averaged 17.6 points on 50.8 percent shooting from the field and 41.6 percent shooting from beyond the arc in 14 games.
"I feel good," Markkanen told NBCSports Chicago. "I'm playing with confidence."
The team has been dealing with some sickness in the locker room. Cristiano Felicio was sent home from the game Monday because of an illness. Carter had to leave the game two minutes into the contest due to what coach Jim Boylen called "stomach stuff" but later returned.
"I've been kind of sick these last couple days, but I'll get over it," Carter said after the game. "I ain't going to say I feel horrible, but I'm definitely not 100 percent."
This is the first matchup between the teams this season. Last year, Utah won both meetings. In last season's game in Utah, Donovan Mitchell scored 34 points and Rudy Gobert grabbed 16 rebounds while scoring 15 points in a 110-102 win. The Jazz followed that up with a 114-83 win at the United Center two months later.
--Field Level Media
Updated January 1, 2020