Utah 105, Minnesota 76

SALT LAKE CITY, March 5 (AP) -- Utah was already one of the few teams to lose to Minnesota once this year. Losing to the Timberwolves again Wednesday night was never much of a possibility.

The Jazz easily avoided another upset by the Timberwolves, winning 105-76 for their 17th straight home victory.

It was barely a week after Utah lost at Minnesota 111-100 and the Jazz, who lead the Northwest Division, were still a little embarrassed by the loss to the team with the worst record in the Western Conference.

"They took it to us in Minnesota,'' said Carlos Boozer, who had 16 points and 14 rebounds for the Jazz. "We wanted to pay them back a little bit.''

Utah led by 12 at halftime, then opened the third quarter with a 15-0 run against the weary Wolves, who lost at home to Charlotte 109-89 on Tuesday.

Deron Williams scored 14 of his 21 points in the third, going 6-for-7 in the period mostly on layups. Williams also had 11 assists for his fifth straight double-double.

"I just wanted to try to put pressure on the defense,'' Williams said. "I didn't think I was really that aggressive scoring the ball in the first half, so I wanted to come out and try to take over a little bit and try to put the game out of reach.''

Mehmet Okur added 15 points and nine rebounds and Ronnie Brewer scored 16 for the Jazz. C.J. Miles, filling in for injured forward Andrei Kirilenko (hip), was the only Utah starter not to score in double figures. He had nine points.

Utah has blown some big leads this season, but not Wednesday.

"If they had made some shots, then we would have been in a little more trouble,'' Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said.

Randy Foye scored 18 points and Al Jefferson had 11 points and 10 assists for the Timberwolves, who are midway through playing four games in five nights. Minnesota is off Thursday, then visits Sacramento on Friday and the Clippers on Saturday.

The Wolves are 2-26 on the road.

"This game is over. We can't think about it going into Sacramento,'' Foye said.

The Jazz, 27-3 at home, have won three straight overall and four of five. The last time the Jazz won this many home games in a row was in 1996, when EnergySolutions Arena was still the Delta Center. That streak lasted 19 games. The Jazz will try for 18 straight on Saturday against Denver.

About the only area they had problems Wednesday was the foul line, where they were just 19-for-30.

Williams is averaging almost 15 assists over the last five games and only played briefly in the fourth quarter with the game well out of reach.

"They got a 12-point lead in the first half and in the second half we came out with no energy, (not) much intensity and kind of gave up,'' Minnesota guard Sebastian Telfair said.

Williams started the decisive 15-0 run with a three-point play and the Jazz outscored the Wolves 29-16 in the period and went 12-for-18 from the field. Utah shut out Minnesota for the first 4:05 of the third.

"I thought that third quarter was one of the best quarters we've played this year,'' Williams said.

The Timberwolves didn't score until Foye hit a 3-pointer with 7:55 left in the period. Williams missed a free throw that would have converted a three-point play early in the quarter, but the Jazz got the rebound and Miles hit a long jumper to put Utah up 60-39.

Utah led 66-39 before Foye hit his 3. Minnesota got within 20 just once the rest of the game.

Notes: Rashad McCants scored 12 and Craig Smith added 11 points for Minnesota. ... Kirilenko injured his right hip when he was knocked down on a flagrant foul by Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki on Monday. The NBA suspended Nowitzki for one game Wednesday. ... Minnesota hasn't won a road game since beating Golden State on Jan. 21.

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