Jazz center Derrick Favors did not practice Thursday morning because of a lingering abductor strain.
Favors’ status Saturday against Washington at EnergySolutions Arena will be a game-time decision, according to a team spokesman.
Favors missed Tuesday night’s 112-97 loss to Minnesota because of the injury.
“He’s getting better — better than yesterday,” coach Tyrone Corbin said. “We’ll take another look at him [Friday] and hopefully he’ll be ready to go” against the Wizards.
Favors averages 13.5 points and 9.1 rebounds.
The Jazz clearly missed Favors’ ability to protect the rim in the second of consecutive losses to the Timberwolves.
Minnesota power forward Kevin Love finished with 19 points and 13 rebounds. Center Nikola Pekovic contributed 18 points and nine rebounds.
“It’s different without him because he’s our best inside presence on defense,” Jazz point guard Trey Burke said. “He’s kind of like our [last] line of defense. He’s the guy that protects the basket. It’s tough when he’s not in there.”
No call for Favors
After participating in U.S. national team camps in in 2012 and 2013, Favors was not named to the player-pool USA Basketball will use to stock its roster for the upcoming World Cup and 2016 Olympics.
“I think there will be more opportunities for him down the road,” said teammate Gordon Hayward, who was selected. “... He will be back with Team USA, for sure.”
Managing director of USA Basketball Jerry Colangelo left the door open for players like Favors who were not invited.
“... There are some players who didn’t make this roster who are right there on the cusp,” Colangelo said in a conference call Thursday morning. “We continue to look at players.”
The Jazz have dropped back-to-back games for the first time since Dec. 14-16 against San Antonio and Miami.
What was missing against the losses to the Timberwolves?
“Intensity,” Burke said. “.... We were flat. It’s something we have to work on — coming out with a lot of energy.”
Asked if he was concerned about Utah’s play, Corbin said, “Losing always worries you. ... But as I told the guys the other night, this is one of the tougher times in the league. We have to fight through.”
Corbin was talking about the stretch of games between Christmas and the All-Star break.
“Their bodies are a little beat up, they have other things on their mind [and] they can get a little sidetracked,” he said. “But we have to make sure we ... have to pick it up from here.”