Utah At Minnesota
When: 8:00 PM
ET, Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Where: Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
The Minnesota Timberwolves can secure their first non-losing campaign since 2004-05 on Wednesday when they host the Utah Jazz. The Timberwolves missed out on a chance to wrap up a winning season with road losses in Sacramento and Golden State, but a recent flurry of strong scoring performances should give the team hope entering the offseason. With Kevin Love sidelined by an elbow injury on Friday, Corey Brewer tied a franchise record with a career-high 51-point explosion against Houston.
Kevin Love returned to the court on Sunday with a 43-point effort in a setback to the Kings and scored 40 in Monday’s loss to the Warriors, allowing him to surpass Kevin Garnett's single-season franchise scoring record. The Jazz have already guaranteed themselves the worst record in the Western Conference and run the risk of matching their lowest win total since 1979-90 – the year after they moved from New Orleans – if they are unable to end their seven-game road losing streak. Utah, which is a Western Conference-worst 8-32 away from home, has dropped 21 of its last 24 games.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, ROOT (Utah), FSN North (Minnesota)
ABOUT THE JAZZ (24-57): Utah assured itself of the worst mark in the West with a loss to the one team it was competing with for that distinction (the Los Angeles Lakers) on Monday. Jazz coach Ty Corbin started his 24-and-under group of Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter, Alec Burks, Trey Burke and Gordon Hayward for the third straight game and each player responded by scoring in double figures. The Jazz failed to help themselves, however, as they allowed the Lakers to shoot 54.9 percent and committed 18 turnovers that led to 29 points.
ABOUT THE TIMBERWOLVES (40-41): Although he has remained silent on the subject, speculation remains rampant that 67-year-old Rick Adelman will utilize the opt-out clause in his contract after the season and coach his final game on Wednesday in order to spend more time with his ailing wife. Love, who also grabbed 14 boards against the Warriors, came up an assist short of his fourth career triple-double (and second of the month). Second-leading scorer Kevin Martin saw his most substantial action on Monday since missing five games with a foot injury, scoring 14 points in 33 minutes.
1. Minnesota is 3-7 when Love scores 40 or more and winless in the five games in which he has scored at least 43.
2. After sweeping the season series in 2012-13, Utah has lost the first three meetings this season by an average of 19.3 points.
3. Timberwolves rookie C Gorgui Dieng, who is averaging 12.9 points and 11.1 rebounds in April, has recorded three consecutive double-doubles.
PREDICTION: Timberwolves 107, Jazz 93
Stats and Records
Minnesota Off vs
106.6 Points For
101.8 Points Against