Top Stories

Tune-In Tidbits: ESPN and ABC Saturday, April 17, 2021

Get ready for Saturday's games on ESPN and ABC with five key stats to know about each matchup.

Brian Martin, for

Jordan Clarkson scored 18 points in Utah’s win over the Lakers on Feb. 24 and will need to help fill the scoring void left by Donovan Mitchell.

Jazz (42-14) at Lakers (34-22)
4:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

• The Jazz won the first meeting with the Lakers, 114-89 on Feb. 24, behind 18 points apiece from Jordan Clarkson and Rudy Gobert. The Jazz — who rank fourth in the league in defensive efficiency (107.6 points allowed per 100 possessions) — held the Lakers to their second-lowest scoring game of the season.

• The Jazz will be without Donovan Mitchell, who suffered a sprained ankle in Utah’s win over Indiana on Friday. Mitchell leads the Jazz in scoring (26.4 points per game) and 3-pointers made (3.4 per game) and ranks second in assists (5.2 per game). Mitchell ranks fourth in the league in usage rate (32.7%) and scores nearly one third (32.4%) of Utah’s points while he’s on the court.

Utah is 3-0 this season in games that Donovan Mitchell has missed — Jan. 27 and 29 vs. Dallas and March 31 at Memphis. In those three games, the Jazz got over 20 points per game from Jordan Clarkson (24.3 ppg), Mike Conley (21.7 ppg) and Bojan Bogdanovic (20.3 ppg), while Rudy Gobert added 18.0 points and 14.7 rebounds per game.

• Since the Lakers lost LeBron James to an ankle injury (joining Anthony Davis on the sidelines), the Lakers have gone 6-9 and averaged a league-low 102.9 points per game — 9.5 points lower than their season average prior to LeBron’s injury. Over those 15 games, the Lakers have been led by Dennis Schroder (16.3 ppg), Kyle Kuzma (15.2 ppg) and Montrezl Harrell (13.8 ppg). Since March 20, the Lakers are averaging 12 3-pointers made on 33.2 attempts, which is up from before LeBron’s injury (10.8 3PM on 30.6 attempts).

• Among the 31 players that defend at least five shots at the basket per game, Rudy Gobert ranks sixth in rim protection as he holds opponents to 50.7% shooting at the basket while he’s defending. Andre Drummond ranks 25th among that group at 61.6% allowed.

Jayson Tatum scored 27 points to lead the Celtics to a 111-107 road win over the Warriors on Feb. 2, overcoming Stephen Curry’s 38 points.

Warriors (28-28) at Celtics (30-26)
8:30 p.m. ET, ABC

• Stephen Curry has scored at least 32 points in nine straight games, averaging 38.2 points during this stretch from March 29 to April 15. Since the 1983-84 season, only five other players have put together such a streak: James Harden (24 games), Kobe Bryant (14), Tracy McGray (11), LeBron James (10) and Michael Jordan (10).

• Boston enters Saturday riding a five-game winning streak — tied with New York for the longest active streak in the league. During the streak, Jayson Tatum is averaging 30.4 points on 51.0%-44.7%-91.7% shooting splits, while Jaylen Brown has aded 28.4 points on 56.7% shooting from the field. The Celtics have outscored their opponents by a team-high 62 points in Brown’s 189 minutes during the streak.

• Golden State enters Saturday riding a four-game winning streak, during which they have averaged 126.8 points and won by an average of 20.3 points. Stephen Curry has averaged 41.5 points on 58.9%-53.2%-96.4% shooting splits. He is averaging 8.3 3-pointers made on 15.5 attempts, including back-to-back games with at least 10 3-pointers made earlier this week. This was the second time in his career that Curry has posted consecutive games with at least 10 3-pointers made, the only other player to do it once is James Harden.

• The Warriors lead the NBA in assists per game (27.6) and rank second in assist percentage (66.9%), with more than 2/3 of their baskets coming off an assist. The Celtics feature much more isolation scoring as they rank 26th in assist percentage (56.5%) and eighth in scoring on isolation plays (7.2 ppg).

• Which team will dictate the pace in this matchup? Golden State plays at the second-fastest pace in the league (103.03 possessions per 48 minutes), while the Celtics rank 21st at 98.57. The Warriors rank eighth in the league in fast-break points (14.1 ppg), while the Celtics rank 20th (11.7 ppg).