MINNEAPOLIS -- The Utah Jazz hit the road to take on the Minnesota Timberwolves Saturday night after going 5-1 on their recent homestand.
The Jazz (11-7) have won four straight games, their longest streak of the season. They will try to extend it to five against the Timberwolves in the Target Center.
Utah power forward Carlos Boozer may be playing the best basketball of his career, averaging 27.8 points and 11 rebounds over the last five games.
"I'm just having fun, just having a good time," Boozer said after the Jazz defeated Indiana Friday. "I'm enjoying my team and we're winning."
After winning their first game of the season, Minnesota (2-17) has lost 17 out of the 18 games they have played. The Timberwolves have lost two straight after shocking Denver 106-100 in Colorado.Minnesota hopes the return of forward Kevin Love will provide a spark to the team, as they are in desperate need to win. Love had 24 points and 15 rebounds the last time these two teams met back in February.
Jazz guard C.J. Miles will be playing in just his second game of the season after having surgery to repair his left thumb. Miles did not score in Friday's game.
KSL takes a look back and ahead as we prep for the game against Minnesota.
What did we learn about the Jazz against the Indiana Pacers?
- A 19 point need is not safe against any team in the NBA. Jazz need to stay aggressive and not "play to not lose".
- To quote a KSL.com user (utefan4life), "[Westley Matthews] really fits into the hustle void that Matt Harpring used to fill." Matthews' energy and great defensive play drew praise from Coach Sloan. "He's not afraid to stick his nose in, stick his chest in and try and guard guys," Sloan said. "That's the way you're supposed to play defense."
What can the Jazz expect from Minnesota?
- Al Jefferson can put up big numbers. Against New Orleans Friday, he finished with 20 points, 14 rebounds and four assists on 10-of-17 shooting.
- Jonny Flynn became the first Minnesota rookie to start on Opening Night in a decade, and tied Donyell Marshall's franchise rookie record (1994-95) by reaching double figures in 11 straight games to begin the season.
Probable Jazz starting lineup
- C - Mehmet Okur, 6-11, 273 lbs., Turkey
- PF - Carlos Boozer, 6-9, 260 lbs., Duke
- SF - Ronnie Brewer, 6-7, 236 lbs., Arkansas
- SG - Wesley Matthews, 6-5, 224 lbs., Marquette
- PG - Deron Williams, 6-3, 207 lbs., Illinois
Probable Timberwolves starting lineup
- F - 3 Damien Wilkins 6-6 225
- F - 8 Ryan Gomes 6-7 240
- C - 25 Al Jefferson 6-10 265
- G - 22 Corey Brewer 6-9 188
- G - 10 Jonny Flynn 6-0 185
Al Jefferson 15.8 ppg, 7.6 rpg / Jonny Flynn 14.4 ppg, 3.5 apg
Jazz Injury Updates
- Kyle Korver - Not with team
- Ronnie Price - Doubtful
Timberwolves Injury Updates
- Forward Kevin Love: Made his regular season debut Friday at New Orleans, having missed the first 18 games due to a fractured fourth metacarpal (left hand) suffered Oct. 16 at Chicago - Will play
Last season, the Jazz struggled with back-to-backs, especially on the road. Coming off a game Friday that went down to the final minutes against the Pacers could spell disaster in Minnesota. The Jazz should be able to extend their win streak to five games, but don't expect it to be a blowout.