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News » Timberwolves-Jazz Preview 2009-12-13

Timberwolves-Jazz Preview 2009-12-13

Timberwolves-Jazz Preview 2009-12-13As good as the Utah Jazz feel about their victory over the defending world champions, they know better than to look past their upcoming matchup with the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Jazz try to win their eighth straight at home Monday night when they face a Timberwolves team that defeated them earlier this month in Minneapolis.

Utah (14-9) won its second straight Saturday, 102-94 over the visiting Los Angeles Lakers. Deron Williams had 21 points, including the first eight of the fourth quarter, as the Jazz snapped the Lakers' 11-game winning streak and avenged Wednesday's 101-77 loss in Los Angeles.

"We're definitely happy with how we played tonight," said Williams, comparing Saturday's performance to the Jazz scoring six fourth-quarter points at Staples Center earlier in the week. "The effort was a lot better, especially in the fourth."

Williams and the Jazz were not feeling the same way about their late-game performance in a 108-101 loss at Minnesota on Dec. 5, a defeat that snapped Utah's season-best four-game winning streak.

Williams scored 18 points with 11 assists and Carlos Boozer had 21 points and 13 rebounds, but the Jazz were outscored 35-28 in the final 12 minutes by the Timberwolves, who shot a season-high 57.1 percent from the field.

"I think we feel about as bad as you can feel," coach Jerry Sloan said after that loss. "If you can't guard anybody better than that, I don't know how you can even expect to win."

Sloan was in Illinois for his brother's funeral the last time Utah hosted the Timberwolves, a 103-102 loss April 3. Williams had 34 points and 11 assists but missed a jumper as time expired as the Jazz had their 15-game home winning streak snapped.

Minnesota had lost nine straight on the road and six in a row in Salt Lake City prior to that matchup.

Minnesota (3-21) looks for a repeat result as it makes the first of two appearances at EnergySolutions Arena this season. The Timberwolves dropped their fourth straight and fell to 0-2 on a three-game trip with a 120-100 loss to Sacramento on Saturday.

"We're a young team and we have to learn to play the proper way," said coach Kurt Rambis, whose team is a Western Conference-worst 1-11 on the road. "The Kings are a young team that wants to get up and down the floor, so we got caught up trying to play too fast. We lost our focus and attention to details."

Timberwolves leading scorer Al Jefferson looks to extend his streak of double-doubles to seven after a 26-point, 11-rebound effort Saturday. Jefferson, who had 15 points and 11 boards Dec. 5 against Utah, missed last season's victory in Salt Lake City due to a torn right ACL.

Making his second appearance of the season after breaking his left hand in the preseason, forward Kevin Love had 18 points and 10 rebounds against the Jazz earlier this month. He averaged 11.5 points and 11.3 boards as the Timberwolves dropped three of four to Utah last season.

The Jazz won 11 of 14 over Minnesota prior to losing the last two meetings.

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: December 13, 2009


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