Jazz at Wolves
7:00 pm CDT
A week ago, the massively shorthanded Timberwolves went to Utah and came away with a shocking 106-104 overtime win against the Jazz. The Jazz dominated the glass and won the turnover battle, but a completely uncharacteristic 12-19 from three for the Wolves got them to overtime and won them the game. Zach LaVine (5-6), Chase Budinger (4-8) and the now departed Sean Kilpatrick (3-4) bombed away especially late, and the Wolves executed what soccer announcers call a smash and grab job.
These two teams meet again tonight at Target Center, with the Wolves coming off a rough loss yesterday in New Orleans, while the Jazz stopped a four game losing streak by beating the Thunder on Saturday.
The Jazz, despite the recent losing streak, have been one of the most impressive teams in the league in the 2nd half, dominating defensively especially once they committed to Rudy Gobert at the center spot. Look for the Jazz to dominate the glass again tonight as they did last week; the Wolves simply do not have enough big bodies to compete there.
This should be a battle of pace, with the Jazz playing slower than any team in the league, and the Wolves among the fastest teams. For the Wolves, they have to minimize turnovers and hopefully find the range again from three; the Jazz are very difficult to score on in the paint, and 20 footers simply aren't going to get it done.
Derrick Favors (listed below in starting lineup) is questionable with a back problem.
For the Wolves: ugh. Anthony Bennett who tweaked his ankle in his return yesterday is probable. Gorgui Dieng is out after getting whacked on the head. I don't think anyone who has been out is likely to play tonight. In other words, it just keeps getting worse.
LATE NOTE: Flip Saunders has announced that Nikola Pekovic will not play again this season.
Here's a link to SLC Dunk. Be excellent.
No no and no.
Enjoy. Chat. Go.