UTAH JAZZ

Jazz Host Opener In Two-Game Series With Timberwolves

Apr 23, 2021, 2:10 PM
Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns and Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (Photo by Alex Go...
Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns and Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz will host the Minnesota Timberwolves in the first matchup of a two games series that wraps Monday in Minneapolis.

The Jazz return home for one game Saturday night after a 2-1 road trip against the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets.

The Timberwolves meanwhile travel to Utah on the final game of a four-game road swing which began with a loss to the Los Angels Clippers before splitting a two-game series with the Sacramento Kings.

Jazz Host Timberwolves Before Three-Game Road Trip

The Jazz matchup with the Timberwolves comes bookended by three-game road trips. After winning consecutive games against the Lakers and Rockets, the Jazz face the Timberwolves, before heading out for their final extended road trip of the season.

The Jazz will begin the road trip with a rematch against Minnesota before making stops in Sacramento and Phoenix.

The Suns currently trail the Jazz by two games in the chase for the top seed in the Western Conference playoffs, a gap that could grow if the Jazz find success over the next three games.

While the Jazz host two of the four worst teams from the Western Conference, the Suns continue their trip against the best teams in the East.

Phoenix opened their five-game east coast road swing with wins over the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers but fell Thursday night to the Boston Celtics. They now travel to Brooklyn to face the Nets on Sunday before facing the New York Knicks on Monday.

The Jazz have been without Donovan Mitchell over the last three games after the All-Star guard sprained his right ankle last Friday against the Indiana Pacers. The guard is set to be re-evaluated on Saturday.

Timberwolves Look To Win Season Series With Jazz

The Timberwolves are one of just three teams to beat the Jazz in Salt Lake City this season. Minnesota downed Utah 116-111 in the Jazz home opener in late December thanks to 25 points from guard D’Angelo Russell.

Russell has missed 30 of the Timberwolves’ 60 games this season after undergoing knee surgery in February.

The guard returned to the lineup in early April, helping to lead the team to a 4-6 record over their last 10 games. Russell has scored at least 11 points in each of his outings, despite coming off the bench for the Timberwolves.

Minnesota moved top overall pick, Anthony Edwards, into the starting lineup after Russell’s injury where the guard has climbed to the top of the Rookie of the Year race. Edwards is averaging 18.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 2.7 assists for Minnesota in 60 appearances for the franchise.

Key Matchup

Saturday’s key matchup will pit the Jazz Rudy Gobert against Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns.

Towns’ ability to spread the floor and make plays has caused issues for the Jazz historically, even with the two-time Defensive Player of the Year facing him.

The Timberwolves All-Star averages 21.9 points, 11.2 rebounds, and shoots an impressive 51 percent from the floor and 44 percent from the three-point line in the two players’ 18 career matchups.

While Towns has the statistical advantage, Gobert and the Jazz have gotten better outcomes. The Jazz are 13-5 when the two players face off while Gobert averages 14.3 points, 12.7 rebounds, and 2.9 blocks.

Broadcast

The Jazz and Timberwolves tip-off at 7 pm MT, the game will be broadcast on AT&T SportsNet.

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