NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, January 21st (All times eastern)
Minnesota Timberwolves (7-8) at Utah Jazz (9-5), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - A pair of Northwest Division rivals collide this evening in Salt Lake City, as the Utah Jazz play host to the Minnesota Timberwolves at EnergySolutions Arena.
The Jazz had won three straight and eight of nine games until a 94-91 loss versus the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday. Al Jefferson posted 22 points and grabbed nine rebounds, while Paul Millsap recorded a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds for Utah, which is 1-1 on a four-game homestand and fell to 7-2 as the host this season.
"They had some big buckets down the stretch, and we had a couple of times when we couldn't convert and the stress got to us," said C.J. Miles, who scored 17 points for the Jazz.
Devin Harris was 0-for-7 and scored just one point in the loss. Utah made 38.8 percent of its shots and even had a 44-33 advantage on the glass. Millsap is averaging 21.3 points in his last six games for Utah, which is averaging 97.9 points at home as opposed to 90.8 on the road.
Utah will close out the homestand Wednesday versus Toronto and will seek a measure of revenge at Dallas next Friday. It will then return to Salt Lake City for a three-game residency versus the Kings, Blazers and Clippers.
Minnesota will try to extend its season-long winning streak to four games tonight and is coming off Friday's 101-98 road victory over the Los Angeles Clippers thanks to Kevin Love's buzzer-beating three-pointer.
The Timberwolves rallied from four points, 98-94, with less than a minute to go until Ricky Rubio scored the next four points to even the score. His three- pointer tied the game with 20 seconds remaining in the game. Love then helped the Wolves to their fourth win in five tries with his big shot and finished with 17 points and 14 rebounds.
"It was a [well] executed play," said Love. "I got a good look and I hit it. It was our defense that gave us a chance to win."
Darko Milicic had 22 points and seven rebounds for Minnesota, which is still last in the Northwest Division and 3-3 away from the Twin Cities. The Timberwolves haven't won four in a row since Jan. 29-Feb. 6, 2010 and are still playing without guard Jose Barea and forward Michael Beasley. Beasley has missed the last eight games (5-3) and is out indefinitely. Barea is questionable against the Jazz.
Utah took three of four meetings with Minnesota last season and has won nine of the past 13 matchups between the two division foes. Minnesota lost three straight and nine of 11 trips to Utah.
01/21 11:01:07 ET