Jazz hope to stay alive in playoff race, host Wolves

With only three games remaining in the regular season, the Utah Jazz are still fighting for the final postseason spot in the West.

The Jazz will try to stay in contention Friday night versus the Minnesota Timberwolves in Salt Lake City and are one game behind the Los Angeles Lakers for the Western Conference's eighth seed. The Lakers are hosting Golden State Friday night.

Utah is coming off a tough 90-80 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday as Kevin Durant just missed a triple-double with 21 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists. Mo Williams scored 19 points, Gordon Hayward had 17 and Al Jefferson finished with 15 and 11 rebounds for the Jazz, who entered the game having won two in a row and seven of eight.

"We need make sure we come out Friday against Minnesota here and be ready to do the things we need to do to win that game," said Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin. "They're not going to lay down and let us have it. Only thing we can control is what we do."

After hosting the Timberwolves, Utah, which is 29-11 at home, will close out the regular season on the road at Minnesota and Memphis.

Minnesota will conclude its final road trip of the season Friday and is 0-2 on the three-game jaunt.

After losing at Golden State on Tuesday, the Wolves dropped the tail end of a back-to-back Wednesday in a 111-95 defeat at the hands of the Los Angeles Clippers. Nikola Pekovic scored 20 points and Derrick Williams notched 13 to go along with 10 rebounds for the Wolves, who have lost three of four games.

"We just didn't have enough tonight," Wolves coach Rick Adelman said. "They made a lot of shots in the third quarter and we ran out of gas. They were the aggressors."

Adelman's club will host Phoenix and Utah in the Twin Cities before putting the clamps on the 2012-13 campaign at San Antonio next Wednesday. In injury news for Minnesota, forward Dante Cunningham (sore right hamstring) is listed as questionable against the Jazz.

Utah is 2-0 against the Timberwolves this season and has won three straight and 14 of the last 20 meetings between the teams. Minnesota has lost six straight, 12 of 14 and 16 of its last 21 trips to Salt Lake City.