Williams will surely be greeted with plenty of boos from the boisterous Jazz crowd. The 3X All-Star, who was drafted by Utah with the 3rd overall pick in 2005, will make his second return to Salt Lake City after departing via a turbulent trade on February 23rd, 2011.
At 42-30 Brooklyn occupies the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference. With ten games remaining, the Nets have secured a playoff spot for the first time in six seasons.
Tonight’s 48 will be game number 7 of Brooklyn’s grueling 8-game road trip. They are 4-2 after getting annihilated in Denver last night, 109-87.
With starting SG Joe Johnson still out with a quad issue, the Nets starters went a combined 16 of 47 from the field in the loss.
PF Reggie Evans had the best night of any of coach P.J. Carlesimo’s guys, going for 15 points and 16 boards.
The Jazz played last night in Portland where they came away with just their 11th road victory of the season, 105-95. PG Mo Williams led the way with 28 points, 5 dimes and 5 boards in just 29 minutes. This was Utah’s first win away from home after dropping their previous 9 as visitors.
The Jazz and Nets last battled in Brooklyn on December 18th. The Nets raced out to a 13-point halftime lead, but finished the night on the losing end of a 92-90 count. Al Jefferson had 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Jazz, while Joe Johnson led the Nets with 21 points.
The Nets are 11-8 in the second half of back-to-back games this season, and Utah is a sturdy 26-9 at home.
Both teams need a W tonight. Utah is barely clinging to the last playoff spot in the West. And Brooklyn must keep winning in order to secure home court for the first round of the postseason. Currently, the Nets are 2 games ahead of Chicago and 2.5 ahead of Atlanta for the 4th seed in the East.
See who’s got the most gas, drive and determination left in their tank heading down the home stretch when Nets vs. Jazz tips off at 9PM ET on YES.