Jazz continue push toward playoffs in meeting with Wolves
(Sports Network) - The Utah Jazz are still fighting for a playoff berth in the Western Conference and will continue their push Monday night when they visit the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Jazz trail the Los Angeles Lakers by 1 1/2 games. After Monday's tilt with the Wolves, both the Jazz and Lakers will have one game left. The Jazz head to Memphis to meet the Grizzlies on Wednesday and the Lakers host the Houston Rockets.
The Lakers are without Kobe Bryant for the remainder of the season after the future Hall of Famer tore his left Achilles tendon Friday night. Bryant underwent surgery Saturday.
As much as you think the Bryant injury will help the Jazz, the Grizzlies have something to play for on Wednesday. They can still inch up in the standings to as high as a third seed.
But, before the Jazz can worry about Memphis, they have to get by Minnesota, which they did on Friday night at home. Utah toppled the Wolves 107-100 for their third win in the last four.
Against Minny, Al Jefferson was virtually unstoppable. He tallied 40 points and 13 rebounds.
"I'm just really satisfied we gave our fans a win, a win we most definitely needed," said Jefferson.
Friday was the Jazz' last home game of the season and could've been Jefferson's final appearance as a member of the team. He is a free agent at the end of the season.
"I'm not even worrying about that right now," he said. "I'm going to try and make it least all the way to June, the end of June."
Randy Foye and Mo Williams scored 16 points apiece. Paul Millsap added 10 as the Jazz shot 58 percent from the field.
But the Timberwolves left Salt Lake City impressed by Jefferson.
"He made a lot of shots, but yes, he is physical," Minnesota coach Rick Adelman said of Jefferson. "Al made a lot of jump shots tonight, too. He faced up and knocked down shots."
The Wolves had six players in double figures, led by 23 from J.J. Barea off the bench. Ricky Rubio had 13, Chase Budinger added 12, Derrick Williams chipped in 11 and Greg Stiemsma and Luke Ridnour managed 10 apiece.
On Saturday, the Wolves snapped a three-game losing streak with a home victory over the Phoenix Suns, 105-93. Rubio was the pace setter this time with 24 points and 10 assists.
The Jazz have swept the season series thus far with Minnesota (3-0) and have won four straight and six of seven from the Wolves. Minnesota has taken two of three against Utah at home.
04/15 10:09:57 ET