The Utah Jazz will once again look to Al Jefferson to help keep their playoff hopes alive in a rematch against the Minnesota Timberwolves Monday night at 8 p.m. ET.
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With two games remaining, Utah (42-38) needs to win out and have the Los Angeles Lakers lose one of their final two contests to secure the final Western Conference playoff spot. The Jazz hold the tiebreaker over the Lakers by virtue of winning the season series.
"The playoffs started a month ago for us," Jefferson said.
The forward made certain the Jazz didn't lose any ground as he tied a career high with 40 points and shot 19 of 27 in a 107-100 home win over the Timberwolves on Friday.
Jefferson, who played three seasons in Minnesota from 2007-10, will try to deliver another big game and lead the Jazz to their first sweep of the Timberwolves since 1998-99. Utah is 12-27 on the road but has won two in a row there.
"Focus. Focus," coach Tyrone Corbin said. "They play well at home. They have great fans in Minnesota. They're really going to be hyped for this game. They know how important it is for us. So that's really going to motivate them to be spoilers, so we want to come in focused and ready to play."
Minnesota has won four of six at home after a 105-93 victory over Phoenix on Saturday.
Ricky Rubio led the way with a career-high 24 points and 10 assists to help the Timberwolves (30-50) snap a three-game losing streak. J.J. Barea scored 16 off the bench after finishing with a season-high 23 against the Jazz.
"Of course we're happy because we're improving, but it's not enough," said Rubio, who had 18 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds in a 97-93 home loss to the Jazz on Feb. 13.