The Utah Jazz finished up their five-game road trip with a 93-84 victory tonight over the pesky Minnesota Timberwolves. This game wasn't outstanding, however I think we'll live with the result -- even if our guys only got to the line a grand total of 7 total times. (For those keeping score at home, that was the same FTA for Andrew Wiggins.) It was a less ideal game for the quality of play for both squads. Minnesota played last night on the road against the Washington Wizards and won in double overtime, and the lack of legs showed in their team shooting 38.1 FG%. Utah was on that previously mentioned five-game road trip and not nearly as crisp as they were at the start of the trip.
RE. GARD. LESS. The Jazz got the jump on the Wolves early and finished the first quarter 18-10. Derrick Favors came to play, wanting to put rookie Karl-Anthony Towns in his place, and went into the paint to score early and often. On the flip-side Ricky Rubio was making shots. It was one of his "shot making" games. That set up a downer of a second quarter that saw the Wolves claw their way back into it. The 35-34 halftime score was, well, two tired teams giving their all. Both teams played hard in the third, and finished it 25 each, meaning that it was anyone's game going into the fourth.
The Jazz took care of business in the second half thanks to Gordon Hayward scoring something like a billion points in the quarter (closer to 16, I can't really remember off hand). Trey Lyles also helped keep the Wolves out of biting distance with his all-around offensive play -- even if he botched one play with a hesitation no shot leading to a turn over. Rookies, amirite?
This game would have been over at halftime if Shelvin Mack was hitting shots, but hey, he hit them in some of the other wins over the last little while so I will give him a break. He just looks less awesome when compared to that rare Rubio that is making shots. Recency bias for sure. Andrew Wiggins had his dunks and Karl-Anthony Towns shows his potential, but this game just wasn't going to go their way. Hayward was determined and put the team on his back, and the Jazz got the 3 wins that I expected the would.
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Utah has a day off and then get back at it with a home game hosting the hapless Los Angeles Lakers on Monday.