National Basketball Association
Preview
Utah at Minnesota
When: 8:00 PM ET, Monday, March 30, 2015
Where: Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Two teams that will be watching other squads enjoy the postseason square off for the second time in eight days on Monday when the Minnesota Timberwolves host the Utah Jazz. Minnesota posted a 106-104 overtime road victory over the Jazz on March 23 and that win is just one of two the Timberwolves have recorded over the past 12 games. Utah registered an impressive 94-89 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday to halt a four-game skid.

Jazz power forward Derrick Favors (back) is questionable after missing the game against the Thunder while point guard Ricky Rubio (ankle) could return for Minnesota after a six-game absence. The shorthanded Timberwolves got forwards Anthony Bennett (ankle) and Robbie Hummel (hand) back from injuries for Sunday’s 110-88 loss against the New Orleans Pelicans but center Nikola Pekovic (ankle) and power forward Kevin Garnett (knee) remain out while shooting guard Kevin Martin (hamstring) is questionable. The Jazz continue to receive fine play from center Rudy Gobert, who has produced four consecutive double-doubles.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, ROOT (Utah), FSN North (Minnesota)

ABOUT THE JAZZ (32-41): Backup point guard Trey Burke had a solid all-around game off the bench with 22 points, six rebounds, four assists and four steals in the win over the Thunder. He had good success operating inside the 3-point line and meandering through the line and delivering passes for easy scores. “Getting in the paint, it opens up things for all of us,” Burke told reporters. “It kind of breaks the defense down and allows us to get easy opportunities.”

ABOUT THE TIMBERWOLVES (16-57): Small forward Andrew Wiggins continues to be a late-season bright spot as he again scored 20 points in the loss to New Orleans. The 20-point outing was the 25th of the season for Wiggins, tying for third most in franchise history by a rookie with Stephon Marbury (1996-97), trailing only leader Christian Laettner (33 in 1992-93) and second-place Isaiah Rider (32 in 1993-94). Wiggins scored 22 points in the recent win over Utah and has five 20-point performances over the last six games.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Utah had won three straight meetings prior to the March 23 loss.

2. Timberwolves C Gorgui Dieng suffered a facial injury in Sunday’s loss and is doubtful to play against the Jazz.

3. Burke is averaging 23.3 points, six assists and 3.7 rebounds against Minnesota this season.

PREDICTION: Jazz 104, Timberwolves 101
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Utah 32-41 W1 18-19 14-22 0-2 32-39 6-7 17-26
Minnesota 16-57 L3 9-26 7-30 0-4 16-53 4-9 7-38
Last Meeting
Utah Minnesota
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
3/23/15 MIN 106 UTA 104 104 46 43.7 106 37 47.4
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Utah D. Favors 19 61.5 3
Minnesota Z. Lavine 27 36.8 8
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Utah R. Gobert 17 11 6
Minnesota A. Payne 9 4 5
Assists Player  
Utah T. Burke 6
Minnesota L. Brown 6
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Utah G. Hayward 1490 45.3 382
Minnesota A. Wiggins 1231 43.7 292
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Utah R. Gobert 739 244 495
Minnesota G. Dieng 655 238 417
Assists Player  
Utah T. Burke 355
Minnesota R. Rubio 227
Quickchart Matchup
Utah Off vs  Minnesota Defense
94.7 Points For
106.0 Points Against
44.6 FG%
48.6 FG%
43.7 Reb
43.2 Reb
Minnesota Off vs  Utah Defense
97.9 Points For
95.1 Points Against
43.8 FG%
44.6 FG%
43.2 Reb
39.4 Reb