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GAME PREVIEW: Jazz at Timberwolves

GAME PREVIEW: Jazz at Timberwolves



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(AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)MINNEAPOLIS -- After dropping both of their first two games against Minnesota this season, the Jazz (17-13) will try to claim a win over the Timberwolves (7-25) on the road Wednesday night.

The Jazz are sitting at 17-13 on the season and are barely clinging to eighth place in the Western Conference. With their season highlighted by difficulties winning away from home and inconsistent performances, the Jazz could be facing an even more troubling situation if they aren't able to scratch out the win in Minnesota.

The Timberwolves have proven to be tough and scrappy against Utah, and will try and erase the memory of their 99-117 loss to San Antonio Tuesday night in tonight's matchup. Situated uncomfortably at 7-25 on the season, Minnesota is in a must-win situation. If they can't get wins against anybody else, they've got to try and get them against the Jazz.

So far, they've been successful.

Game 31
Utah Jazz (17-13)
at Minnesota Timberwolves (7-25)
Date: Wednesday December 30, 2009
Time: 6:00 p.m. MT
Site: Target Center, Minneapolis, MN
TV: FSN Utah : Comcast - Ch. 52 (HD Ch. 693); DIRECTV - Ch. 684 (HD Ch. 684-1); DISH - Ch. 445 (HD Ch. 9515)
Radio: 1320 AM KFAN or 98.7 FM
Season Series Record: Timberwolves 2, Jazz 0
Last Season Series Record: Jazz 3, Timberwolves 1
Last Meeting: 12/14/2009 - Timberwolves 110, Jazz 108
KSL takes a look back and ahead as we prep for the game against the Timberwolves.

What did we learn about the Jazz against the Philadelphia 76ers?

  • In spite of the fact that the Jazz have lost twice to the Timberwolves and let some other low-caliber teams slide by, they did manage to come out on top against the Sixers at home Saturday night. Their 97-76 win was a perfect example of how games against teams like Philadelphia and Minnesota should go.
  • The Sixers hung with the Jazz until late in the second quarter when Deron Williams found his rhythm and opened up on Philadelphia. His 20 second-half points and tight defense helped the Jazz widen their gap from the Sixers, leading to Utah's 17th win of the season. Williams will have to have a good game again tonight in order for the Jazz to move to 18-13 and bump their road record to 6-9.

What can the Jazz expect from the Timberwolves?

  • Having already gone 2-0 against the Jazz this season and winning just six of their other 30 games, the Timberwolves are probably viewing tonight's game as one of their few good chances at getting a win. And they've got a double threat - the Jazz are away from Energy Solutions Arena.
  • Corey Brewer and rookie Jonny Flynn gave Utah a good amount of trouble from outside in the teams' last meeting, going for 22 and 28, respectively, with Kevin Love putting up 23 down low. The Jazz can't allow three players to tally over 20 points and expect to win
  • Williams went for 38 when Utah welcomed the Timberwolves to Salt Lake City Dec. 14, but missed a last-second shot to win the game after Flynn drove to the basket to put Minnesota up two with just a few seconds left on the clock. Williams couldn't pull out the win himself then and the story won't be any different tonight.

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 - C.J. Miles, 6-6, 227 lbs., Skyline HS (TX)
  • PG - Deron Williams, 6-3, 207 lbs., Illinois

Probable Timberwolves starting lineup

  • C - Al Jefferson, 6-10, 265 lbs., Prentiss HS (MS)
  • SF - Damien Wilkins, 6-6, 225 lbs., Georgia
  • PF - Kevin Love, 6-10, 260 lbs., UCLA
  • SG - Corey Brewer, 6-9, 188 lbs., Florida
  • PG - Jonny Flynn, 6-0, 185 lbs., Syracuse

Timberwolves' leaders

Al Jefferson, 17.2 ppg, 9.0 rpg / Kevin Love, 14.9 ppg, 12.9 rpg

Jazz Injury Updates

  • No injuries reported

Timberwovles Injury Updates

  • No injuries reported

Conclusion

With both teams in the middle of a must-win scenario, tonight's matchup will likely be similar to the other meetings between the Jazz and the Timberwolves and go down to the wire. The Jazz haven't found any success in that situation, but things could take a different turn if they're able to get ahead early and maintain their lead.

Immediately following Wednesday's game, the Jazz will head to Oklahoma City to finish up a short two-game road trip. The Thunder currently sit just one game behind the Jazz and are on a four-game winning streak.

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