Wolves-Utah game preview

  • Updated: March 14, 2012 - 10:16 PM

Preview: The Jazz entered Wednesday's game at Phoenix with a 20-21 record after it started the season 9-4, thanks to an early schedule thick with home games. It had lost 12 of 19 before playing the Suns, while the Wolves waited in Salt Lake City for the Jazz to arrive back home. ... The Wolves practiced in Phoenix on Wednesday, right after the Jazz held its shootaround for that night's game, after holding an optional practice Tuesday. This is the first of only three times between the February All-Star break and the April 26 season finale that they have two days off between games. ...The Wolves lost 108-98 at Utah on Jan. 19 and beat the Jazz 101-99 in overtime at Target Center on Feb. 22, on Luke Ridnour's winning, running shot at the buzzer. ...Thursday's game is the season-series tiebreaker.

Players to watch: Jazz center Al Jefferson will play Thursday against his former Wolves team and then take a two-game leave -- missing games against Golden State and at the L.A. Lakers -- to return to Mississippi and attend the funeral of his grandmother, who helped raise him. He delivered a 33-point, 12-rebound performance in Monday's victory over Detroit that included the first made three-pointer of his career -- at game's end -- on his 24th attempt.

Injuries: Wolves guard Ricky Rubio (torn ACL) is out.

JERRY ZGODA

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