wolves gameday


Preview: The Jazz entered Friday's game at Detroit 12-13 in its past 25 games — including a home victory over Oklahoma City last week — after it started the season 1-14. In those past 25 games, the Jazz has gone from 29th in the NBA in three-point shooting to first and from 28th to fourth in free-throw shooting. It also has improved from 27th in turnovers to sixth. Utah averaged 88.5 points in its first 15 games and has averaged 98.3 points per game since then. … This is the first of four meetings this season between the teams. The Jazz swept the four-game series last season, winning twice at Target Center.

Player to watch: Utah rookie point guard Trey Burke — whom the Jazz took ninth overall after they swapped the 14th and 21st pick with the Wolves on draft night last summer — was chosen the Western Conference Rookie of the Month for December after he averaged 18.1 points, seven assists and three rebounds in the month. He scored in double figures in 13 of 16 December games. He's the first Jazz player to win Rookie of the Month since a guy named Karl Malone in 1985.

Injuries: Utah forward Gordon Hayward has missed the past three games because of a hip flexor and did not play Friday in Detroit. The last time he played, he delivered a 37-point, 11-rebound, seven-assist game in that victory over Oklahoma City. Pete Maravich, Adrian Dantley and Malone are the only other players in Jazz history to record those kinds of numbers in a game.