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The Roundup—Jazz come alive late, run away from Wolves
Playing the second half of a back-to-back set, the Utah Jazz turned it on in the second half and pulled away for a 120-100 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves Thursday night in Salt Lake City.
Utah (39-29) secured the win by outscoring Minnesota 49-30 over the final 20 minutes.
"We talked about it during a timeout that we had to get back to defending and get out there running," Utah's Jae Crowder said after the game. "That's what we did, and we were able to extend the lead a little bit."
Donovan Mitchell led the Jazz with 24 points, while Rudy Gobert logged his 54th double-double of the season with 10 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks.
Crowder (18 points), Derrick Favors (17 points), Joe Ingles (12 points, eight assists, two blocks) and Kyle Korver (11 points) also scored in double figures.
Utah shot 49.4 percent from the field and made 13 3-pointers in the win.
Karl-Anthony Towns led the Wolves (32-37) with 26 points and 12 rebounds before he fouled out with just over four minutes left in the game. Andrew Wiggins added 14 points—but shot only 6-for-17 from the field—in the loss.
Favors continued his strong play, filling up the box score with 17 points, 11 rebounds, one steal and two blocks in 26 minutes. It was Favors' 13th double-double of the season, and it comes a night after he dished out a career-high seven assists. The nine-year veteran is now averaging 15.0 points (on 63.2 percent shooting), 7.5 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.8 blocks in seven March games.
The Timberwolves took 15-11 lead, but a free throw by Ricky Rubio and back-to-back threes (by Korver and Crowder) kick-started Utah's offense. Another three by Korver, a three-point play by Mitchell, a driving layup by Ingles, and an alley-oop dunk by Favors (from Ingles) gave Utah a nine-point lead at the end of the first quarter.
Utah led the nine at the half, but Minnesota began the third quarter on a 15-7 run to pull within one. After a timeout, the Jazz answered with a quick 8-0 run. Mitchell and Crowder made layups, and then Gobert jammed home a putback dunk.
So you're a cat guy, huh?pic.twitter.com/TbEvvf2QPl— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) March 15, 2019
Towns almost single-handedly kept the Wolves in it with 14 third-quarter points, but back-to-back threes by Korver and a transition dunk by Ingles put Utah up by 10 at the end of three.
Kyle with 11 pointspic.twitter.com/cL44BBHUb4— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) March 15, 2019
summoning circle, hope this workspic.twitter.com/zm0sTA0QZN— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) March 15, 2019
The Jazz led by as many as 24 in the fourth quarter, with Mitchell putting the punctuation mark on a big win—he scored nine fourth-quarter points, including a nothing-but-net-three and a baseline slam that delighted the home crowd.
like, whoapic.twitter.com/PMHidbM39o— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz)March 15, 2019
The Jazz dished out 30 assists on 44 made baskets, with Rubio (eight), Ingles (eight) and Mitchell (six) leading the way.
Utah outscored Minnesota 63-44 in the first and fourth quarters combined. The Jazz shot 55.8 percent from the field, including 8-for-20 from 3-point range, over those 24 minutes.
Coach's Quote of the Night
"I don't think it's ever a finished product. I think we played five of the top 10 offenses over a stretch and had a 100 defensive rating, and then we played a couple of other teams that weren't 'supposed to be' as good offensively and we didn't defend as well, so the key thing for us is to keep trying to get better. ... I think that mentality on both sides of the ball will serve us well."
Jazz head coach Quin Snyder
Jazz owner Gail Miller addressed the crowd for several minutes just before tipoff, encouraging civility and respect. ... Thabo Sefolosha (hamstring) did not play, while Danté Exum played three minutes before exiting the game with knee pain. ... Derrick Rose (elbow), Jeff Teague (foot), Luol Deng (Achilles) and Robert Covington (knee) all missed the game for Minnesota. ... Georges Niang had eight points on 3-for-3 shooting, including 2-for-2 from 3-point range. ... Utah shot 13-for-38 (34.2 percent) from beyond the arc. Minnesota shot 5-for-24 (20.8 percent).
The Jazz will stay at home to face the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday. Tipoff is set for 7:00pm MT.