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Utah Jazz 103 Minnesota Timberwoles 90 Game Recap: 14-0 run in third was the difference

Sometimes you just need to win the game of runs

Is this an honor code violation?
Is this an honor code violation?
Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight the Utah Jazz defeated the pesky Minnesota Timberwolves 103-90. It was a much closer game than any of us expected because, frankly, no one was playing defense. The first quarter finished with the Jazz being down 29-27. The second quarter finished with the Jazz being up 29-26. The halftime score had the two teams at 56 and 55 points respectively. That's just not the type of basketball that we've come to see a lot of in the EnergySolutions Arena. A huge factor for Minny was the stellar play of Karl-Anthony Towns, who absolutely dismantled the Jazz bigs on put backs or step backs. His versatility is going to be a match-up problem for his entire career. But this game was predicated upon miss-matches, as Utah got almost whatever they wanted from dribble penetration and kick outs -- the Jazz shot 40% from downtown and finished with 24 assists off of 40 made field goals.

The decisive run was in the third quarter where the Jazz defense turned it up behind the hustle of Trevor Booker. Against the Wolves' bench they couldn't keep up and the Jazz, with an odd lineup of Trey Burke, Chris Johnson, Joe Ingles and Rodney Hood depending on fouls (I think), Booker, and Derrick Favors went on a decisive 14-0 run to finally break open this game.

Pictured: the 3rd quarter run by the Jazz

Burke was making threes. Favors was running the floor.

(N.B. I couldn't find a vine of the Favors jam, so here's Rudy instead.)

It was what turned this game from a "uh oh" to a "phew!" game. Minny only scored 14 in the fourth total, and Gordon Hayward and company really kept Andrew Wiggins (2/11 shooting, 5 total points) under wraps.

The fourth quarter was mostly academic as Zach LaVine continued to get his dunks, and no one really played defense. Aside from that run to end the third this game could still be on, in overtime as we speak. I'm glad it's not.

Utah collects their 21st win of the season, much later than we expected. Six Jazzmen finished with 10+ points, with a seventh (Raul Neto) finishing with 9. Derrick Favors in his first start since forever finished with 20 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 block. Rodney Hood finished with 22 points, 4 assists, 1 rebound, and 1 steal. Rudy Gobert had a double double with 14 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks -- but even on the bench in garbage time he was seething because of the game KAT had. He still had this awesome play, though:

Gordon Hayward had a complimentary game of 12 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, but only 9 shots. His efforts were on defense keeping Wiggins in trouble. It's not in the box score, but his efforts were there. Off the bench Trey Burke scored 12 points, all on three pointers. He also had 2 steals, 1 rebound, and 1 steal.

But the big surprise was Trevor Booker with his 11 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. He even made a three. I haven't bee a huge fan of his, but he was even making layups today. I gotta give him props for his on court performance today. He had a really effective game.

Also, of note, Shabazz Muhammad and Gorgui Dieng did as well. Minny has some pieces, but right now they don't all fit well together. Give them time, after all their head coach DIED in October during training camp. That's a tough situation.

I'm happy for the Jazz win. They continue their home stand with game 4 of 6 on Monday, hosting the Chicago Bulls.