Reunion in Utah

Kyle Korver didn't have to wait long for his first reunion with his former teammates from the Philadelphia 76ers. Gordan Giricek, meanwhile, may wish he wasn't returning to Salt Lake City so soon.

Korver and his new team, the Utah Jazz, host the 76ers on Wednesday, just four days after Philadelphia traded Korver to the Jazz for Giricek and a conditional first-round pick.

Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made Utah -9 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at 196 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 72% of bets for this game have been placed on Utah –9 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

Korver made a good first impression at EnergySolutions Arena on Monday, scoring 11 points in just 18 minutes off the bench in Monday's 111-101 win over Portland. The small forward, who is averaging 10.0 points, received an ovation when he entered the game.

Giricek might not be welcomed so warmly back in Utah, where he had quarreled with Jazz coach Jerry Sloan. After a confrontation with Sloan during a Dec. 19 loss at Charlotte, Giricek was ordered to leave the team for three games, and didn't play again before being dealt.

"It's a clean slate," 76ers president Ed Stefanski said after the trade. "I'm not concerned at all about that."

Giricek was attractive to Philadelphia because of his expiring contract, which will create salary cap space for the Sixers (14-17) this summer. He had six points in 14 minutes off the bench in his debut with the team on Monday.

While the Sixers are looking toward the future, they've been playing better of late. They've won four of five overall and are 2-1 on their current six-game road trip - all against Western Conference teams. The trip is their longest of the season, and began a stretch of 10 out of 12 on the road.

But Philadelphia has won five of its last seven away from home, including Monday's 98-90 win at Seattle. Andre Iguodala had 25 points and Louis Williams added 19 off the bench for the Sixers.

Williams, a 21-year-old guard who was drafted in the second round in 2005, had shot just 25.9 percent (14-of-54) from the field in his previous six games, but got to the foul line 14 times against the SuperSonics, making 12.

"He hasn't been as aggressive as we would have liked," 76ers coach Maurice Cheeks said of Williams. "Tonight was the case of him driving the ball and getting to the foul line a little more. This is a game that hopefully turns it around for him."

The Jazz (17-16) are also hoping their last game was a sign of changing fortunes. They had lost two straight and 11 of 15 before defeating Portland, ending the Trail Blazers' league-high 13-game winning streak by dominating inside.

Utah outrebounded Portland 40-31 and had a 62-22 edge on points in the paint as Carlos Boozer had 19 points and nine rebounds. That ended the Jazz's worst month (5-11) since March 2005, when they were 3-12.

They're hoping to get a boost from Korver, a career 40.8 percent 3-point shooter.

"He works hard to try to get himself open for shots that he can make," Sloan said after Korver's first game in Utah. "On top of that, I thought he did a pretty good job trying to defend not knowing what we're trying to do for the most part."

The Jazz have won three of four at home, where they are 11-3.

They have also won four of five overall against the 76ers, including a 106-95 win at Philadelphia on Nov. 28. Jazz point guard Deron Williams had 15 points and 15 assists in that game, and has averaged 15.0 assists in his last three against the Sixers.

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

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