The Northwest Division-leading Utah Jazz, owners of the best home record in the NBA, look to extend their win streak there to 17 games on Wednesday night when they face the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves, the team with the worst road mark in the NBA.
The Jazz (39-22), who are fourth in the Western Conference, are 26-3 at EnergySolutions Arena and are outscoring opponents by an average of 14.4 points in those victories. They have won 16 in a row at home for the first time since a franchise record-tying 19-game run from Jan. 19-March 29, 1996.
Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made Utah -14.5 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at 203.5 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 71% of bets for this game have been placed on Utah -14.5 (View NBA Bet Percentages).
Utah almost saw its streak end Monday, blowing a 21-point lead and then rallying with 16 consecutive points in the fourth quarter for a 116-110 win over Dallas. The Jazz are averaging 108.3 points during their home winning streak.
"Everybody right now is fighting for their lives and fighting for a playoff spot. It was a fun game to be a part of," said Jazz guard Deron Williams, who had 17 points and 20 assists, giving him an average of 15.8 assists in the last four games. "I wish we would have held on to that lead. We let that slip away. We knew they were going to make a run, but we should have put them away a little earlier."
The Jazz hope to have an easier time against the Timberwolves (12-47), who are 2-25 on the road.
Utah has won the last three home meetings against them, but lost the last matchup 111-100 at Minnesota on Feb. 26.
Carlos Boozer, who had 34 points and eight rebounds in that contest, is coming off a 28-point performance against the Mavericks. The forward leads the Jazz with a career-high 21.6 points and 10.7 rebounds per game.
Boozer, though, will likely be without fellow forward Andrei Kirilenko, who hurt his right hip after a flagrant foul by the Mavs' Dirk Nowitzki in the first quarter. Kirilenko underwent X-rays after the game that showed no break, but his status is uncertain.
The Timberwolves are opening a three-game road trip, looking to snap a four-game overall losing streak after falling 109-89 to Charlotte on Tuesday.
"We just didn't come to play," Wolves forward-center Al Jefferson said.
Jefferson is looking to build on another solid performance. He had 18 points and 11 rebounds against the Bobcats, and is averaging 23.6 points over the last seven games. He leads Minnesota with career highs of 21.5 points and 11.7 rebounds.
Jefferson had 22 points and 10 boards to help the Timberwolves to a win in their most recent matchup with Utah.
Rashard McCants also had 22 points in that contest, but his status for Wednesday is uncertain after he missed Tuesday's defeat with an illness. The swingman is averaging a career-high 14.8 points.
Corey Brewer is also uncertain to play after a thigh bruise kept him out against Charlotte. The seventh overall selection out of Florida in the June draft, Brewer had been playing well of late, going 10-for-20 to total 29 points in his last two games after scoring a total of just 33 in the previous eight.
By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us
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