The Timberwolves stayed close all game, but they just didn't have enough to close this one out as the Jazz looked unstoppable late in the fourth quarter. The Wolves move to 7-9 on the year and remain at the bottom of the Northwest Division.
Minnesota was fresh off a three-point win over the Clippers and had a chance to move to .500 in this game, but the offense went stagnant late as Utah ran away with this one.
Minnesota got double digit scoring outputs from all five starters as well as two reserves, but it just wasn't enough. This also became the first game, this season, that Kevin Love as unable to register a double-double. We'll get to some individual stats in a moment though...
The Utah Jazz big men definitely outperformed Minnesota's, but ultimately the entire Jazz team just looked a step faster. Probably because they had yesterday off before tonight.
Let's take a look at some of those individual statistics from tonight's key players...
Clearly, the Utah Jazz big men got the best of Minnesota's--they were the first team (of 16) that were finally able to halt Love's double-double streak. Millsap's mid-range jumper was unstoppable as he seemed out to prove he's talented enough to be an All-Star in this League. Big Al was facing his former team, he struggled with his shot a bit, but he crushed the boards & did plenty of damage in the paint. Devin Harris was recovering from a stomach flu and played just 22 minutes. Earl Watson stepped in and had a great game off the pine.
For Minnesota, it was the third game in a row in which they had a different leading scorer. Tonight it was Ricky Rubio with a double-double (17pts, 11ast). The Wolves had plenty of scorers in double-digits. Even Wesley Johnson seemed to come alive, as he hit his first 5 shots, before missing a three in the final minute of the game. That's what Minnesota needs, especially when Love doesn't score 20-30 in the game--AND the Wolves are without their second leading scorer: Michael Beasley! Darko & Pek had 10 & 8 respectively and it's great to see those guys being successful on the offensive end. Kevin Love got in early foul trouble which allowed Williams to get into the game earlier. He finished with a bit of a mirror of Kevin Love's stats--both had 15pts & 8rebs, but Williams also added 2stls, turned the ball over just once, had fewer fouls and shot a higher percentage on less attempts in less minutes! Great game from D-Will, mediocre game from K-Love!
Had Minnesota's three-point shooting held out in that final quarter, they could have easily stole this victory, however they went cold in the final minutes and the Jazz cruised! The Jazz shot an amazing 52% from the field, doing a lot of damage in the key and on mid-range jumpers. Minnesota got crushed on the boards as the Jazz held a +11, a team with Kevin Love on the roster--shouldn't have that happen--BUT, all the Wolves' big men need to hit the boards! Surprisingly, the Timberwolves were once again able to limit their turnovers to just 11 and allowing 13 points. The Wolves were able to force 15, BUT they weren't able to convert as many points off of those!
That's all I've got for now, tomorrow the Wolves have the day off. I'll have some pictures from tonight's game up soon and I'll also be updating our home & stats pages. Tomorrow we'll have a video recap/highlights, updating our quotes page and putting ut a gameday preview for Monday's game vs. Houston! Stay tuned for all of that within the next 24 hours. Until then, thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!