Suns vs. Jazz

Salt Lake City, UT - At seven games above .500 for the first time this season, the Utah Jazz are looking to continue their push up the Western Conference standings.

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Hosting a Phoenix Suns team that's won once on the road since late November might be a good matchup for the surging Jazz.

Oddsmakers from online sportsbook Brobury have made the Jazz -6.5 point spread favorites for Monday’s game against the Suns. Current NBA Public Betting Information shows that 62% of more the 800 bets for this game have been placed on the Suns.

Utah looks to win its sixth straight at home on Monday night when it faces the Suns in the first of four regular-season matchups this season.

Since losing four of five from Dec. 31-Jan. 8, the Jazz (25-18) are 6-1 and have moved into sixth place in the West, percentage points ahead of the Suns (26-19).

"If we can continue to finish games, hopefully we can climb the ladder a little bit in the West,'' Carlos Boozer said following Saturday's 116-83 victory over New Jersey.

The Jazz shot a season-best 61.1 percent from the field against the Nets and are hitting 52.3 percent in their last seven games.

During its five-game home winning streak, Utah is averaging 112.0 points and shooting 54.3 percent.

The Suns, meanwhile, have given up 118.5 points per game while losing four straight on the road. Phoenix, which plays seven of its next 10 on the road, is 1-11 on the road since Nov. 29.

The Suns have lost three straight and five of six in Utah, falling 104-99 in overtime March 28 in their last visit to EnergySolutions Arena.

"We definitely need this one going into Utah and a hostile environment," Amare Stoudemire said after the Suns defeated Golden State 112-103 on Saturday to close a 2-1 homestand. "It's always tough when you play Utah in Utah."

Phoenix leads the league in scoring with 109.8 points per game, but it is shooting 40.9 percent in its last two games.

Utah, meanwhile, is holding its opponents to 91.4 points per game and 42.4 percent shooting during its home winning streak.

The Jazz will look to continue that defensive pressure against Steve Nash, who is averaging 16.9 points and 11.6 assists in his last 16 games against them.

With two assists, Nash will become the eighth player in league history with 8,000. He is averaging 11.0 this season, good for second in the league.

Jazz point guard Deron Williams isn't even halfway to that milestone, but he is averaging 20.6 points and 12.8 assists while posting five straight double-doubles versus Phoenix.

Mehmet Okur, who is scoring 13.8 points per game with 7.1 rebounds during his eight-year career, is averaging 21.3 and 12.7 in his last seven games against the Suns. Okur led the Jazz with 26 points and 11 boards in Phoenix's last visit to Salt Lake City.

Boozer posted his third straight double-double against the Suns in that matchup with 14 points and 10 rebounds. In his last 10 games versus Phoenix, he is averaging 19.8 points and 10.2 boards.

Stoudemire, the Suns' leading scorer with 20.9 points per game, missed Phoenix's last two matchups with the Jazz due to an eye injury. He is averaging 21.0 points and 11.3 rebounds in his last four games in Utah.

The teams next meet March 4 in Phoenix.

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Posted: 1/25/2010 12:45AM ET


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