NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, January 2nd (All times Eastern)
Minnesota Timberwolves (14-13) at Utah Jazz (15-17), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Utah Jazz will try to snap a three-game losing streak on Wednesday night when they host the Minnesota Timberwolves at Energy Solutions Arena.
The Jazz, losers of seven of their last nine, dropped both games of a home- and-home with the scorching-hot Los Angeles Clippers recently. The other loss during this streak came at home to the Golden State Warriors.
Despite the two losses in EnergySolutions Arena, the Jazz are 9-4 at home.
Utah's most recent setback came in Los Angeles against the Clippers. Al Jefferson paced the Jazz with 30 points and eight rebounds. Gordon Hayward had 16 off the bench and Derrick Favors chipped in 11.
"We played well in the second half, but we turned the ball over," said Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin. "Our effort is consistent, we just have to continue to work."
The Jazz, who were without both Mo and Marvin Williams on Saturday, committed 16 turnovers.
The Utah faithful will get their first chance to see Andrei Kirilenko in another uniform. The Russian star was taken by Utah with the 24th pick in the 1999 NBA Draft and played 10 seasons for the Jazz. After a season in Russia, Kirilenko came back to the league to play with the Timberwolves.
"I can't imagine how I'm going to step into the Energy Solutions Arena and go to the guest locker room, not the home locker room," Kirilenko said. "It's going to be different, but I have a lot of friends, tons of friends from 10 years there. A lot of fans that I probably know. I probably know the first 20 rows around the arena. I know all the fans."
The Timberwolves won their last time out, a 111-107 victory, at home, over the Phoenix Suns. Six Minnesota players scored in double-figures, but the big story was the Timberwolves' starting frontline.
Nikola Pekovic had 28 points and 11 rebounds, Kevin Love scored 23 and grabbed 18 boards and Kirilenko chipped in 20 points, five rebounds and four assists. The Timberwolves shot 50.6 percent from the field.
That victory on Saturday snapped a two-game losing streak. Minnesota had lost four of five before the win over the Suns.
"These previous few games we were just struggling, especially in the last few minutes of games" Pekovic said. "But I think tonight we played smart all the way through the fourth quarter."
The Jazz are 7-2 in their last nine against the T-Wolves.
Minnesota is winless in five straight trips to Salt Lake City and is only 2-11 in the previous 13 matchups there.
01/02 10:32:47 ET