When he made that three, I knew we were going to win. —Rudy Gobert
MINNEAPOLIS — Before Saturday night, Derrick Favors had made just two 3-pointers in his seven-year NBA career while missing 15 others. So the odds weren’t great when Favors let loose with a 3-point shot from the right corner with his team down five with 90 seconds left at the Target Center.
But Favors swished his shot and from there the Jazz completed an 11-0 run that gave an improbable victory.
“When he made that three, I knew we were going to win,” said Rudy Gobert.
Told that later, Favors laughed and said, “it was just one of those nights.”
The Jazz were down by nine with 3:35 left when Favors scored on a dunk and then on a 20-footer from out front. He said the 3-pointer wasn’t a called play and that he happened to be in the corner after a play broke down. He was happy his teammates had confidence in him.
“It’s just something I was working on this summer,” Favors said. “Gordon (Hayward) trusted me with the shot, he passed to me in the corner and I made it. I was being aggressive, confident in that shot, and I made it.”
Coach Quin Snyder was thrilled with Favors’ big shot, bringing it up before being asked about it afterward.
“Obviously Derrick’s three was a big shot,” Snyder said. “That’s not a shot he’s taken a lot, but it came in the flow of the offense and he rose up and hit it and gave us a boost.”
EX-JAZZMEN: Former Jazz player John Lucas III, who played 42 games with Utah in 2013-14, starting six games, joined Minnesota this year after being out of the NBA last season. He played in just five games this year before being waived Saturday, just hours before the Timberwolves and Jazz tipped off. Coach Tom Thibodeau called Lucas “the consummate professional” and said the move was made to give his roster more flexibility.
Another former Jazzman, Brandon Rush (2013-14), joined the T-Wolves this year after two years with the Golden State Warriors, where he earned a ring and started 25 games last season. This year, he’s only played 12 games for Minnesota with a 2.3 ppg average. He got into Saturday’s game for two minutes in the first half. Earlier in the day it was announced that Rush would have his No. 25 jersey retired by his alma mater, Kansas, next month at halftime of a Jayhawks’ game.
JAZZ NOTES: With George Hill back, Dante Exum didn’t get in the game, the second DNP-CD of his career. Raul Neto was on the inactive list, the first time the Jazz had to put a player on the inactive list. Alec Burks played just seven minutes after playing a total of seven minutes in the three previous games since he was declared ready to play. The two teams played each other at the Target Center just over a month ago with the Jazz taking a 112-103 win with Gobert leading the way with 16 points and 17 rebounds. The Jazz and T-Wolves play twice more this year in Salt Lake on March 1 and April 7.