Al Jefferson set a career-high with 40 points to lead Utah to a 107-100 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night at EnergySolutions Arena.
Utah Jazz defeat Minnesota Timberwolves, 107-100
After seven wins in their previous nine games, the Jazz started slowly against Minnesota.
They converted only three of their first 11 possessions and trailed, 12-11, midway through the first quarter.
Utah finally got going offensively and Jefferson scored seven points during a 14-4 run that gave the Jazz a 25-16 lead.
It's 27-22 in the closing seconds when Gordon Hayward banked in a 38-foot three-pointer at the buzzer, bumping Utah's lead to eight.
In the second quarter, however, the Jazz could not stop J.J. Barea. He scored 12 points in 3:05 and the Timberwolves tie the game, 36-36.
The Jazz followed by converting seven of their next eight possessions, but they could not shake loose.
In fact, Minnesota took a 52-51 lead on Ricky Rubio's late three-point play and Andrei Kirilenko's followed with a dunk that gave the Timberwolves their one-point halftime advantage.
In the third quarter, Minnesota hit its first four shots and eventually built a 71-64 lead.
It was 75-68 with four minutes left before Utah closed with a 14-6 run. Jefferson scored eight points as the Jazz took an 82-81 lead.
With 10 minutes left, the game was tied, 88-88. In the next five minutes, however, Jefferson scored six points, Randy Foye buried a three-pointer and Minnesota converted only one of 10 possessions.
Utah opened a 97-90 lead with 5:19 remaining and the Jazz held on to stay in the Western Conference playoff race.
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