8 P.M. at Utah • FSN, 830-AM
Preview: The Wolves have accelerated their pace of play in recent games, but it still isn’t translating into victories. Minnesota has lost two straight, four of five and 13 of its past 15. The good news? One of the two victories in that stretch came against Utah. The Jazz, in a mathematical tie for eighth in the Western Conference entering Thursday night’s games, beat Charlotte on Tuesday. This is the third game in a six-game homestand for the Jazz.
Players to watch: Wolves G Zach LaVine’s 35 points Wednesday were the most ever by a Wolves reserve player. In the past two games LaVine, Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins — all three under 21 — have averaged 70.5 points among them. LaVine has scored 56 points in those two games. G Ricky Rubio had a club-record-tying 17 assists vs. Utah in the 94-80 victory over Utah on Dec. 30. Reserve Utah G Trey Burke — drafted by the Wolves in 2013 but quickly dealt to Utah — loves playing the Wolves. Since the start of last season his 22.4-point scoring average vs. Minnesota is his highest against any club. He scored all 23 points in that Dec. 30 game, all after halftime.
Numbers: The Wolves have averaged 108 points in their past seven games, compared to 92.1 in the 10 games before that.
Injuries: Wolves F Kevin Garnett (knee) and G Kevin Martin (wrist) are doubtful. Utah G Alex Burks (fractured fibula) and G Dante’ Exum (knee) are out.