for this game

Red-hot Jazz welcome Washington to Salt Lake

Mar 18, 2015 - 2:21 PM ( - The buzzword around Salt Lake City lately is playoffs.

The Utah Jazz hope to parlay their recent success into a postseason spot and will close out a five-game homestand Wednesday versus the Washington Wizards.

Utah has ripped off six straight wins and 13 in the last 16 tries, including Monday's 94-66 rout of the Charlotte Hornets at EnergySolutions Arena. Rodney Hood recorded a career-high 24 points, while Gordon Hayward had 18 points and Rudy Gobert grabbed a game-high 22 rebounds for the Jazz.

"It's been amazing just being healthy, finally getting my foot right," said Hood of his recent play. "Just knocking down shots and shooting with confidence has been the biggest thing."

The Jazz, who are an NBA-best 11-2 since the All-Star break and 6 1/2 games out of a playoff spot, have won five in a row in Salt Lake City, where they own a 17-16 record this season. The Jazz had a 30-16 lead after the first quarter versus Charlotte and a season-high 61 points in the first half.

Utah set a franchise record in 3-pointers made in a quarter (eight), in a half (12) and in a game (15-of-24). Hood made all five of his shots from downtown.

The Jazz are holding opponents to just 82.8 ppg since the break and have outrebounded every opponent in the last 13 games. They will visit the LA Lakers and Golden State Warriors next.

Meanwhile, the Wizards seem to have their act together as evidenced by four straight wins and five in the last six games.

The Wizards won all three games on a recent homestand and will play the next four out west against the Jazz, LA Clippers, Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors. They are 14-18 away from the nation's capital.

Washington is coming off Monday's 105-97 victory over the mighty Portland Trail Blazers, as Bradley Beal scored 23 points and John Wall flirted with a triple-double with 21 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds. Paul Pierce added 16 points, Marcin Gortat had 16 points and nine rebounds and Nene scored 12.

"I liked our focus coming out to start the game and then our movement with the ball," said Wizards coach Randy Wittman. "It was pretty good basketball."

Wittman's club shot 50 percent for the game and has held the last 10 opponents under 100 points. It is averaging 105.0 ppg during the win streak.

The Wizards are 19-1 this season when shooting 50 percent or better.

Pierce is averaging 16.7 ppg in his last three games for the Wizards, who are fifth in the East standings - a half-game behind Chicago.

Washington defeated Utah, 93-84 on Dec. 14 in DC and was led by Beal's 22 points. Wall stuffed the stat sheet with 16 points, eight assists, six rebounds, five steals and three blocks in that one.

Alec Burks finished with 19 points in that one for the Jazz, who have lost two in a row in this series after winning the previous four matchups.

The Jazz, though, are unbeaten in the past three meetings with the Wizards at home and have a 7-1 record in the last eight encounters in Salt Lake City.