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Twice as bad; Wolves drop second straight to Jazz

Utah has won nine of ten

January 28, 2019 - 5:28 am

   MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Utah Jazz got 29 points from Donovan Mitchell, 12 in the third quarter alone, as they beat the Timberwolves 125-111 Sunday at Target Center.

   Mitchell recovered from a slow start, missing ten of his first 12 shots, to lift the Jazz to their ninth win in their last ten games.

   Shot after shot from the perimeter brought groan after groan from the Minnesota crowd as Utah shot 71 percent (27 of 38) during the second half for its second victory in three nights over the Timberwolves.

   "The game wasn't going the way I wanted to offensively, but I wasn't panicking," Mitchell said. "Like I said, when you have teammates that back you like that, it's awesome. It makes it easy."

   Andrew Wiggins led Minnesota with 35 points, and Karl-Anthony Towns added 22. Jerryd Bayless had a season-high 19.

   Mitchell and Wiggins got hot trading baskets in the third. Minnesota briefly led 83-82 late in the period before Mitchell helped key a 21-9 run. Utah opened the fourth with three straight 3-pointers - two by Kyle Korver and one from Joe Ingles - to rebuild the lead to nine.

   "Dribble penetration, that occurs a lot when you get sucked in and we don't take care of things at the point of attack. Then we have to help each other and then open 3s occur," Wolves interim coach Ryan Saunders said.

   Utah led by as many as 14 in the fourth. The Timberwolves pulled within seven multiple times but couldn't get another big stop on defense.

   PATIENCE PAYS OFF

   Along with Bayless, Luol Deng also had a season-high 15 points for Minnesota. Bayless has made the most of his opportunity filling in for the Wolves' banged-up backcourt, and Deng has seen his playing time increase since Saunders took over when Tom Thibodeau was fired.

   "It means a lot," Bayless said. "Obviously it's been a tough couple of years for me, realistically. So this is the first time I've really played in a long time, really got a chance to really play. So I'm just thankful for that, and hopefully it stays."

   Deng went 5 of 6 from the floor, including 3 for 4 from 3-point range.

   "It feels good. I've just been staying ready, knowing that it's a long season, staying positive and staying ready," Deng said.

   DEFENDING TOWNS

   Towns' 22 points were quiet compared to his team-high 33 on Friday night in Utah. The Jazz held him to two field goals in the second half.

   "I had to focus more, not giving him the straight lane to the basket, make him earn everything," Gobert said. "We did a good job as a team keeping him off the ball."

   TIP-INS

   Timberwolves: Second-leading scorer Derrick Rose, who dressed on Friday but didn't play, sat out with a sore right ankle. Rose joined G Jeff Teague (foot), F Robert Covington (knee) and G Tyus Jones (sprained ankle) on the injury report. Saunders said Covington, who hasn't played since Dec. 31, has been doing more work on the stationary bike. ... Josh Okogie caught an elbow from Gobert to the back of the head in the first quarter when both were going for a rebound. Gobert dunked on the play and Okogie stayed down for several moments before getting up.

   UP NEXT

   The Timberwolves host the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night.