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Emptying the Noggin — Healthy Jazz win it down the stretch against the Wolves
By David Locke, Utah Jazz
Summary: The Jazz came from 13 down to catch the Wolves with numerous improbable plays and won 94-92 in the first game with a healthy lineup since Dec 20, 2014.
· The Jazz trailed by 13 late in the third quarter. The Wolves have lost the most amount of 10+ leads of any team in the league (12), and the Jazz methodically walked the game down into range and then made all the plays late to win it.
· There were numerous key plays late in the game. Joe Ingles got isolated defensively against Zach LaVine with the Jazz up by two and played it perfectly. He said post game that he just didn’t want him to shoot a three and that is such a smart heads-up play by Joe.
· Derrick Favors was huge. He was able to hit numerous jump shots and then nailed a mammoth corner three late in the game. Favors finished the quarter 3-4 for seven points. The Jazz were down seven with the ball and 2:23 to play, and Favors hit a 20-foot jumper. On the next possession after a Minnesota turnover, he buried a corner three to make it a two-point game.
· With the game tied, Favors missed a six-footer and Gobert tipped it in with :27.5 seconds left to give the Jazz the lead, 94-92.
· The Jazz’s defense got stops late in the game. The Wolves didn’t score for the final 3:35. Their last field goal came at the 4:41 mark when LaVine put the Wolves ahead, 91-83.
· The Jazz closed the game with Favors and Gobert for the final 3:35.
· George Hill returned and was terrific. He finished with 19 points — 10 in the fourth quarter — five rebounds and seven assists. He was +10 and the Jazz were -8 when he was on the bench.
· Getting George Hill back made a difference on the turnover front as the Jazz committed just 10 turnovers in the game. Hill had just one turnover to his seven assists, and Ricky Rubio is a tough defender to battle against.
· Derrick Favors’ 34 minutes are the most since he’s played since he started back-to-back 30 minute games and then got the bone bruise on his knee.
· Minnesota doesn’t play its bench at all.
· The Jazz didn’t have a lot of thrust or focus in their game in the first half and it got worse when the Wolves got out and ran a bit in the third. The Jazz just weren’t at the usual or necessary level of detail.
· Favors had three steals and Ingles had four.
· Joe Ingles closed the game for the final five minutes in place of Rodney Hood again.
· The Jazz (Hayward) have defended Andrew Wiggins really well over the past seven games with Wiggins shooting just 37%. Tonight was more of the same and Wiggins he finished 6 of 19. Wiggins shoots just 37% off the bounce and the Jazz force him into that game.