Match-Up: 8:10 PM Utah Jazz(51-27) at Houston Rockets(39-38)

This match-up pits two bitter rivals from the Western Conference. The Utah Jazz(19-19 Road) have won seven of their last ten games and have defeated the Houston Rockets twice in three meeting this season.

Guard Deron Williams has played well in last five contests, averaging 18.4 points and 13.4 assists. Williams scored 35 points and chipped in 13 assists in the team’s last win against the Rockets on February 27th. Forward Carlos Boozer has averaged 23 points and 13 boards over his last five. The team is expected to be without forward Andrei Kirilenko.

The Houston Rockets(21-17 Home) have been sputtering recently, losers in seven of their last ten. The team has been battling with a lot injuries. Forward Shane Battier is out for this contest. Foward Trevor Ariza and guard Kevin Martin are also nursing injuries, but are expected to play.

Overall, the Rockets have struggled against teams with larger front courts. They were beaten up by the Spurs and Pacers recently and the size of the Jazz should give the smallish Rockets problems. I’m not in love picking road teams in the NBA, but I’m going with the hot team in this match-up.

The Pick: Utah Jazz

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April Record: 3-3

Photo Credit: Photo: Danny Moloshok