Jarrett Jack has been a much-needed weapon for the Golden State Warriors lately and will take his hot hand to the road Sunday in a matchup with the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center.
Jack is averaging 23 ppg in his last four games and played an instrumental role in Friday's 107-101 overtime win versus the San Antonio Spurs. Jack scored 17 of his season 30 points in the fourth quarter and overtime combined, and also handed out 10 assists. He became the first player since Magic Johnson in 1996 to record a 30-point/10-assist game as a reserve.
"With all due respect to what Jamal Crawford has done for the Los Angeles Clippers and with all due respect to what J.R. Smith has done for the New York Knicks -- Jarrett Jack has been the best sixth man all year long," Golden State coach Mark Jackson said. "He's carried us at times, been a great voice in our locker room, he's a great competitor and he's been outstanding since day one. When you look at our record and where we are sitting, how you could ignore what he has done for us off the bench with closing ball games and having a calming effect."
Jack leads the league among reserves with 5.6 assists per game.
David Lee had 25 points and a game-high 22 rebounds and Stephen Curry added 18 points and six assists for the Warriors, who have won two straight following a six-game losing streak, and ended a 16-game slide to the Spurs. Golden State, which sported its short-sleeved alternate uniform for the first time, was without center Andrew Bogut. He sat out with back spasms and is questionable Sunday.
The Warriors are opening a five-game road trip against Minnesota and have lost their previous five road bouts. They are 14-16 away from Oakland and 3-10 in the past 13 as the guest.
Minnesota was just handed a 127-111 setback by the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday and was led by Alexey Shved's 17 points. Shved was one of seven players in double figures, while Andrei Kirilenko and Dante Cunningham each registered 15 points in the loss. Ricky Rubio had 13 points, nine assists and five steals for the Wolves, losers in six of the last eight games.
Russell Westbrook scorched Minnesota with a season-high 37 points. The Thunder had an 18-point lead late in the fourth quarter.
"We let him (have) a lot of room to maneuver," Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman said of Westbrook. "He's just too quick and too strong to give him room to go at the basket."
After Sunday's game, the Wolves, who are 13-13 in the Twin Cities, will begin a three-game road trip against the Suns, Lakers and Blazers.
Minnesota dropped both meetings with Golden State so far this season, four straight overall and 10 of the past 12 contests in this series. The Warriors are unbeaten in their last three visits to Target Center.