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News » Jazz-Timberwolves Preview 2009-12-05


Jazz-Timberwolves Preview 2009-12-05


Jazz-Timberwolves Preview 2009-12-05The Utah Jazz are in the midst of their longest winning streak of the season. Facing the Minnesota Timberwolves presents a good opportunity for them to extend it.

Coming off a stellar homestand, the Jazz look for a fifth straight victory when they visit the lowly Timberwolves on Saturday night.

Carlos Boozer had a season-high 35 points with 13 rebounds as Utah (11-7) beat Indiana 96-87 on Friday to conclude a 5-1 homestand.

Though the Jazz shot 43.5 percent and nearly blew a 19-point lead against the Pacers, they are playing their best basketball of the season, winning seven of eight since starting 4-6.

"We're winning right now and that's the most important thing," said Boozer, who has 12 double-doubles in 18 games.

Still, the Jazz know they can't take many nights - or even quarters - off and remain a serious contender in the Western Conference.

"Forget that - we won," said rookie Wesley Matthews, who topped the 17 points he scored Monday in a win over Memphis with 18 against the Pacers. "We started out and jumped on them in the first quarter and then we kind of backed off a bit. You can't do that."

Boozer is averaging 20.9 points this season and 26.8 on 69.2-percent shooting in his last six contests. The Jazz are averaging 107.3 per game during their four-game winning streak.

Utah has a good chance to continue its run of success in the first meeting of the season with Minnesota (2-17).

Though injuries limited Boozer to two games and 18 points against Minnesota last season, the Jazz went 3-1 versus the Timberwolves and won both games at the Target Center.

The Timberwolves, who snapped a four-game losing streak to the Jazz with a 103-102 win at Utah on April 3, look to avoid a third consecutive loss after falling 98-89 at New Orleans on Friday.

Al Jefferson had 20 points with 14 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who've lost 17 of 18 and couldn't win consecutive road games after stunning the Nuggets in Denver 106-100 on Sunday.

"We don't keep our focus," said first-year Timberwolves coach Kurt Rambis, whose team returns home trying to snap a nine-game losing streak there since beating New Jersey 95-93 to open the season Oct. 28.

Though it wasn't the case Friday, Minnesota hopes the return of forward Kevin Love will provide a boost to a team near the bottom of the league in scoring at 91.4 points per game.

Coming off a promising rookie season where he averaged 11.1 points and 9.1 rebounds, Love had 11 and 11 boards in 24 minutes in his first action since breaking his hand during the preseason

The 6-foot-10 Love had 24 points and 15 rebounds in a 120-103 loss to Utah in the teams' last meeting at Minnesota on Feb. 25.

Jefferson is averaging 20.0 points in his last four games against the Jazz.


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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 5, 2009

 

 
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