The Minnesota Timberwolves had their chances in this one, but their lack of ball control was there downfall tonight as Utah escaped with a 111-105 overtime win.
The TWolves went on a 19-7 run over the final 4:49 of the fourth quarter to tie the game at 99. Pekovic grabbed an offensive rebound and had the putback to tie it. There was just 0.7 seconds to go after that and Utah came out of the timeout and ran a lob play to Paul Millsap who got the perfect pick and pass and was literally WIDE-OPEN underneath the basket, but his shot rolled off the rim and we went to overtime. The Jazz who were playing a back-to-back responded in overtime by outscoring Minnesota 12-6 for the W (Minnesota hadn't played since Monday vs. Phoenix).
The Timberwolves move to 22-22 on the year and the Utah Jazz are now 21-22, so Minnesota remains in front of them in the Northwest Division and of course the Western Conference. If the Jazz & TWolves tie for a playoff spot (say the 8th seed), Utah now holds to tiebreaker as they've won the season series 2-1.
Kevin Love went down multiple times with a thumb injury as it appeared he fell on it and it bent backwards. He refused to stay out of the game and went to the bench, got his thumb taped up and came back in for the final stretch. Reports say he'll have X-rays tomorrow to see if anything's broken. It is the thumb on his non-shooting left hand. Michael Beasley didn't play at all with a sore left toe that he bent back in a game vs. the Suns. He warmed up, but said it was too painful and sat this one out. No word as of right now as to whether either player will be able to play tomorrow vs. the Lakers.
I had the pleasure of watching the Jazz broadcast of this one and all we got to hear was former Jazz forward, now broadcaster Matt Harping talk about how great Paul Millsap, how much more deserving Millsap was of being an All-Star, how Millsap is a 1st ballot hall-of-famer and how he's nominating Millsap for the Nobel Peace Prize. It got ridiculous. You'll see in a moment that Love had more rebounds and more points than Millsap. Millsap did miss that shot that would've won them the game, he did hit a big shot from the top of the key in overtime that sealed a Jazz victory, though.
Let's take a look at some statistics from tonight's key players on each team...
Kevin Love had a solid game, he did take 23 shots to get his 25 points, but he hit the boards hard as well. Pek had another great game, also becoming somewhat routine, his biggest was the offensive board and putback that tied the game at 99. Luke Ridnour had a great game as well, his 13 assists are a season-high and the most he's had in a game with Minnesota.
Hayward had a huge game for the Jazz as he led the team with 26 points and played 38 minutes off the bench. Harris dumped in 18, but did so on 5-of-14 shooting. If your looking through Millsap's numbers those 8 steals are not a misprint! He had 8 steals tonight! As far as the Millsap vs. Love goes I'll take Kevin Love 10 times out of 10, everyday of the week and twice on Sundays (whatever that means)!
Let's take a look at some team statistics from tonight's game for each team...
The Jazz took A LOT of shots with 103 field-goals attempted! The also out-rebounded Minnesota by a +8 thanks to 16 from Favors, 13 from Big Al & 11 from Millsap. The Jazz had 13 steals and forced 18 Minnesota turnovers that led to 26 points. The Jazz beat Minnesota in the paint by a +16, on the break with a +10, off the bench with a +30. When you look at all of those stats, you realize that the way Minnesota played tonight--they didn't deserve to win!
Minnesota will be back in action tomorrow night in Los Angeles, at the Staples Center, vs. the Lakers. Stay tuned to our Injury Report section under the Team Report headliner for an update on Kevin Love and whether Michael Beasley will be available.
That's all for now, thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!