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Timberwolves Lose To The Jazz, Qualify For NCAA Tournament, 122-100.

Well, we didn't get 156 like the Suns did, but give our record against the Wolves this season, I'll take it.

It certainly didn't start out the way you would like.  After the Jazz got out to a 6-2 lead, Minnesota promptly went on a 12-0 run.  The Jazz fell in love with the three ball early, the only problem is that the three ball didn't share the same affection. That changed though when Korver came a calling.  Really, who can resist those dreamy eyes and luscious locks?  Korver is so hot right now he can even put the ball in a trance.  He seduced the ball well shooting 7-9 from the field and 3-4 from the arc for 20 points on his 29th birthday.

I guess if the DesNews can mention Korver's three-point shooting without putting him into a funk, I can as well.  He leads the league in three-point percentage with 58.5% (including tonight).  That's just unreal.  With only 14 games left in the season, he could end up breaking the record for three-point shooting percentage in a season.  The current mark is held by Steve Kerr from the 1995 season when he made 52.3% of his threes.

If we take his average of 2.55 3PAs per game that he's averaged over the past couple of months and project that for the rest of the season, he would take approximately 35-36 more threes for the season.  He currently has 83 attempts so he would finish with 119.  53% of that is about 63 which would barely break the record.  He's made 48 this season so he would need to shoot 15/36 (41.7%) to accomplish that.

Now, we just need to work on his dunks.

The Jazz finally kicked things in gear in the second quarter and got some separation from Minnesota.  They got around the Wolves' length by some great interior passing for easy baskets.  One highlight came as Deron passed to AK at the three-point line right and then trailed to the basket.  AK faked the three and found Deron baseline and in turn, Deron made a touch pass to Boozer coming down the lane for an easy two.  That play and others resulted in 72 points in the paint for the Jazz compared to Minny's 50.  The Wolves finally looked like they were playing the second of a back to back as they missed quite a few layups and close shots around the basket.

Utah was able to extend their lead as they were able to force quite a few turnovers and turn those into easy fast-break points.  Although it didn't result in a fast-break the other way, the highlight on D came when Minnesota had a fast-break and Johnny Flynn was sent packing by AK.  Just a ferocious rejection that denied Flynn the dunk.  It's too bad that AK re-aggravated his calf injury and sat out most of the game.  He had some great contributions on offense while he was in there with his cutting and getting fed for a couple of dunks and a layup.

Good effort from everyone tonight.   There was some great hustle from everyone.  Millsap had a great play where he tipped the ball several times before coming down with it and scoring.  Matthews broke up a one-man fast break by stepping in front of Corey Brewer to knock the ball away and take out the ref in the process.

The Jazz took a 14 point lead into the fourth quarter and were never challenged after that.  There was no run by the Wolves, no collapse by the Jazz.  So the Jazz did what they were suppose to do at home and that was to blow out two poor teams.  They did it on the defensive end by getting a lot of deflections and out-rebounding them thus preventing second shots.

The Jazz are pretty banged up right now though.  Memo will probably have back issues for the rest of the season.  I don't know how often he's going to have shots to help that out, but I imagine he'll get a few games off, especially those that are on the back end of a back to back.

Andrei left the game after his calf sprain flared up again.  I wonder if it wouldn't have been best for him to rest it one more game given that we were playing Minnesota.  Hopefully that's not long-term. 

Deron of course has a myriad of injuries right now with his wrist, shoulder, and now his ankle all tweaked.  According to Siler he's going to be getting an MRI on his shoulder tomorrow.  While none of the injuries by themselves are that serious, all of them together is going to have some impact on his game.  You might not know it from the hellacious dunk he threw down when nobody came to help on a pick from Memo.  That one-handed throw down coming in from the left side seems to be a big one for him.  He does it quite a bit.  He had the one against San Antonio a few years ago in the playoffs off a give and go from Boozer.  He also had a similar dunk in the All-star game this year.  While he's not scoring a lot consistently, he keeps finding ways to take over games.

Okur has developed that little running hook shot that's become very effective.  He had 14 & 6 on the night but couldn't hit a three pointer going 0-5.  He's looking good though.

Boozer had a typical Booze game, 19 & 11 in just 32 minutes.  He also had a few nice assists including one to Deron for a layup on a give and go.  He was still getting owned on defense a bit.  His intensity hasn't been the same as it was about a month or so ago.  He was giving good help D and getting physical with players.  That doesn't look to be the case recently.

Millsap got 26 minutes and a lot of the offense with Boozer sitting for most of the fourth.  He showed that he can carry the load with 21 & 11 including a steal and a solo dunk on the other end.  CJ has played a bit better as of late.  He's making some better decisions as far as when to make passed and when to shoot.  His shooting percentages are way down this year and really haven't been much better lately.  He does look at time that he's contributing in other ways than on offense.

So now back to the "real" schedule on Friday when the Jazz head back to Phoenix.