The Minnesota Timberwolves had a very good chance to play spoiler in this one, but in the end, Al Jefferson, Mo Williams & Randy Foye were just too much for the Pek-less Wolves.
As I've done the past couple recaps, tonight's recap will be a Game Log. Enjoy!
-Former JazzMan Kirilenko gets a nice round of applause from the crowd as he's introduces in the starting lineups.
-No Nikola Pekovic tonight, out with a left quad injury. Stiemsma gets the start (17th of the season). Stiemer aggressive early and draws an early shooting foul, hits both to give the Wolves the first lead of the ball game.
-TWolves got to Stiemer on their second possession as well, has a nice move to the rim, but misses the lefty layup.
-Stiemsma definitely active here as he sends former Wolf Randy Foye's shot in the seats.
-Ridnour's got the mid-range working as he hits a 15-footer, not a huge mismatch tonight against Randy Foye.
-Al Jefferson just toys with Greg in the paint en-route to an easy bunny that rolls in.
-Wolves lead 12-11 with 5:27 to play in the first.
-Stiemsma still doing well in this one. DWill gets beat on a pass to Favors, Stiemer steps in and draws a charge.
-Foye hurting the Wolves early here as he's knocked down a couple of threes in this first quarter.
-Jazz going on a little run, getting some separation on the scoreboard as they lead 16-22 w/2:15 to play on a fast break bucket and-one for Big Al. We head to a timeout and he'll have a freebie when we return. Big Al hits the and-one to give the Jazz a 7-point lead.
-Budinger and Shved check in out of the timeout. Joins DWill, Stiemer & J.J. out there. Utah going all starters except Derrick Favors in place of Millsap. A short while later, Cunningham checks in for DWill.
-Gordon Hayward hits a three-pointer from 27-feet as the Wolves just let him race up the court as time expired. Jazz lead 22-30 after one.
-Jazz shoot 57% in the first, compared to Minnesota's 44%. Jazz also go 3-5 3PT, MIN 0-2.
-TWolves start second quarter with Chris Johnson at center, along with Bud, Dante, Shved & J.J.
-J.J. rolling in the second quarter as he hits a three, drives for an easy floater and then pump fakes Burks into a foul and hits a couple freebies at the line, follows up the next possession with a layup and he's already got 10 in this quarter!!
-J.J. staying aggressive, gets fouled, hits two free throws and now has 18 w/8:50 to play in the first half, Jazz lead 34-36.
-Jazz get a little spurt again to pull away as Adelman calls for time. Jazz lead 43-38, 6:16 to go.
-J.J. finds his favorite target (Johnson) for a beautiful alley-oop as the Jazz are trading buckets back-and-forth in this one.
-Johnson picks up a couple of fouls and Greg Stiemsma returns to play with this second unit, he'll definitely be logging some time tonight.
-Of Minnesota's first 45 points, the starters have scored 8...
-J.J. continues to stay aggressive and he draws another foul and heads to the line for a pair. Hits 1 of 2, now with 19.
-Chase Budinger now heating up as he's hit a couple layups AND a couple three-balls. J.J. & Bud are carrying the Wolves offensively right now.
-TWolves come out of timeout with just under three minutes to play in the half, with their starting lineup, but Dante Cunningham in place of DWill.
-The only way Stiemer doesn't log big minutes is foul trouble. He just picked up his second here with just over two minutes to play, so that hasn't become an issue...yet...
-After a Rubio three-point play, TWolves lead 52-51, then Millsap hits a mid-range to put the Jazz back on top with under a minute to play.
-TWolves end the half leading by one 54-53 after Andrei Kirilenko finishes the quarter with a fast break dunk.
-J.J. & Budinger headline the Wolves first half offense. J.J. ends the half with 19pts (2 from tying his season-high), 3reb, 2ast, 5-7 FG, 2-3 3PT, 7-8 FT in 13 minutes. Budinger with 10pts, 1reb, 1stl, 4-6 FG, 2-3 3PT in 11 minutes.
-The Wolves bench has 35 of the Wolves' 54 points (starters w/19). Wolves shooting 52.8% FG, 36.4% 3PT and 92.3% FT. Jazz 53.8% FG, 57.1% 3PT, 77.8% FT. Wolves with a +4 (19-15) on the boards, have also forced Utah into 7 first half turnovers. Jazz are getting out on the break and making it count with 14 fast break points.
-Have to get some offensive production from guys like Derrick Williams & Andrei Kirilenko in this one. Without Pek, that's 20pts that need to come from elsewhere. Someone in that starting lineup needs to step up. Bench definitely getting it done when they're out there!
-Both teams are getting pretty much whatever they want on offense, whichever team can lock down a bit on D will quickly get some separation out of the half.
-Are we on tap for another third quarter letdown? We've seen it a number of times this season and in most, the first half played out like it just did here...wait and see...
-Millsap picks up an early third foul with 11:15 to go in the third. We'll see if the Wolves go back to Williams on the next possession to try and get him whistled for another quick one.
-Derrick Williams hits a mid-range jumper and he's now got the Wolves' first 4 points. The Wolves have also forced the Jazz in to consecutive turnovers (now with 9 on the night).
-Everyone is getting on the mid-range game. Ridnour hit one and now Stiemer hits one of his own! TWolves lead 65-61 8:25 to play.
-Al Jefferson rolling now, as they continue to go to him, Stiemer unable to even think about stopping him. He's now got 20pts & 6reb.
-Stiemer knocks down another mid-range jumper and he's now up to 8 tonight, is then whistled for his third personal on the other end.
-This Utah crowd have the boo birds out tonight. Booing the Wolves when the go on a scoring run, booing every foul called whistled against the Jazz. Booing for the sake of booing.
-The Minnesota Timberwolves aren't backing down at all whatsoever in this one. It seems as though the Jazz came in thinking, Easy Win against a 29-win basketball team.
-Jazz with another turnover on a Jefferson travel, now up to 12 on the night (5 in the third).
-Mo Williams picks up his fourth foul with 4:08 to play in the third as AK attacks the bucket. He'll stay in the game though.
-Jazz continue to work through Al Jefferson, he's definitely working the post moves. Then AK comes down to double on him, he kicks out to Randy Foye who drills a three-pointer.
-The Wolves may have won the rebounding battle in the first half, but now, Williams & Stiemsma are giving up a lot of second chance opportunities.
-Jazz putting together a little run to as the third is coming to an end. With 1:48 to play the Wolves lead 79-77.
-Stiemsma starting off the game playing well against Jefferson defensively, but now Big Al is just getting whatever he wants. Now up to 30 points in 28 minutes! Could definitely use Pek's physicality down low.
-Minnesota down 81-82 after three quarters.
-If the Wolves want this win, they HAVE to find a way to slow down Al Jefferson. He scored 19 of his 30 points in the third quarter!!
-Chase begins the fourth with a finger roll to give the Wolves a one-point lead.
-The Wolves are beginning to clamp down into the paint which is opening up three-point opportunities as Alec Burks & Randy Foye have both connected from deep in the first two minutes of this final quarter.
-TWolves are also playing in a 2-3 zone with Stiemer roaming both low boxes and the high post at the free throw line. Dante & Chase are playing in the bottom half and NEED to get out on the corner three-point shooters, or the Jazz will just keep finding them and the way Foye has it going tonight...they'll keep hitting them.
-Wolves call a timeout with 9:14 to play, Jazz lead 88-90.
-Foye connects on another triple, now 5-for-7 on the night!
-Cunningham is working on the boards tonight. Had three on one possession, but the Wolves still couldn't get a bucket.
-Adelman calls another timeout after Jefferson gets to the rim for another two points, now with 36 on the night. Jazz lead 97-90 w/5:19 to play.
-Alec Burks just shoves J.J. Barea, gets whistled for the foul. Cunningahm steps in. Next play, J.J. gets elbowed in the face and thrown to the floor by Derrick Favors. Causes a bit of a shoving match with everyone getting involved. The refs review and the Wolves get two free throws and possession of the ball. The Jazz broadcasters are adamant that it was J.J.'s fault and it was good acting on his part. Apparently falling to the floor after your elbowed in the face nominates you for an Oscar.
-Now every time J.J. touches the ball he's booed. J.J. finds Rubio for an open three.
-TWolves down 99-98 w/3:15 to play.
-This is Utah crowd is absolutely ridiculous. I've never heard so many boos on so many plays. A boo every time something doesn't go their way. They showed up expecting their Jazz would blow out the lowly Wolves en-route to getting closer to locking up that 8th seed to get to the playoffs. As much as I hate the Lakers and don't want to see them in the playoffs, I REALLY want this win and Monday's rematch!
-It remains 98-99 as both teams have come up empty on their possessions. 1:15 to play, Wolves ball. Rubio bricks a three ball, still 59.6 to play, Jazz ball as Ty Corbin takes a timeout.
-Out of the timeout, Jazz get the ball to Big Al, nearly lost it on a Rubio steal, but he hits a shot as time expired on the shot clock and he's now tied his career-high with 40 points.
-Adelman calls a timeout and the Wolves down 98-101, 39.3 to play.
-J.J. Barea throws up a contested three that falls short, Greg Stiemsma chases it out of bounds, but throws it out of bounds. Jazz ball.
-Utah gets it up court quickly, before Rubio fouls Mo Williams with 20.5 to play. They had a foul to give, they get it to Mo and he'll head to the line for 2, 19.3 seconds to play. Mo (a 90%+ FT shooter) hits the both and the Jazz lead 98-103.
-Adelman with another timeout, as they'll be looking for a quick three and then a quick foul.
-Rubio gets to the lane for the quick layup, he misses it and the refs call Favors for a goaltend. They then review the play on the monitors and the call stands. Wolves down 100-103, 14.4 seconds to play. Jazz call a timeout to get their free throw shooters back on the court.
-The Jazz broadcasters are having a fit about this goaltend call. These are the same guys who earlier in the broadcast (when they got a call that went Utah's way) that this is a veteran officiating crew out there, so they probably got it right! Just fickle, fickle broadcasters and fickle fans.
-Mo Williams intentionally fouled and he hits both at the line, 100-105. J.J. misses a floater on the other end. Wolves foul Mo Williams again and he hits another 2. Wolves ball with 2.5 to play. Dante chucks up a halfcourt three as time expires, Wolves lose 100-107.
Without Nikola Pekovic, Greg Stiemsma played a career-high 41 minutes. He had a decent all-around game as he finished with 10pts, 7reb, 1ast, 3stls & 2blks. He did well in the early stages matched up against Jefferson, but clearly that didn't last too long, as Big Al matched a career-high with 40 points in this one. A lot of those buckets, Big Al just overpowered Stiemsma--you know that wouldn't have happened against Big Pek.
The Wolves got a big game from J.J. Barea. He scored 13 of his 23 in the second quarter and most definitely got under the skin of the Utah Jazz. Should be an interesting matchup on Monday night. Barea finished with a season-high 23 points and outscored the Utah bench all by himself (23-20).
The Wolves really could've used a better offensive game from Derrick Williams, Andrei Kirilenko or Luke Ridnour. Without Pek and the 20 points he's been bringing each night for the past few weeks, the Wolves needed a guy like DWill to have a 20-10 game...he fell well short of that.
Former Wolves Big Al & Randy Foye had big offensive nights in this one. Jefferson finished with 40 points which ties a career-high. Foye went 5-of-7 from deep and that REALLY hurt the Wolves. Mo Williams also added 16 points as he knocked down some clutch free throws in the final seconds of this one.
The Wolves will be back in action tomorrow night vs. the Phoenix Suns at the Target Center. 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!