The Utah Jazz came into tonight's game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on a three-game losing streak, but the streak is now over.
Utah's defense accentuated a 106-84 win inside EnergySolutions Arena. The Jazz had 12 blocked shots and seven steals. The Jazz also forced Minnesota into 2-for-17 shooting from behind the 3-point line, a miserable 12 percent. Things were better overall for the Timberwolves, but not by much. They shot 35 percent from the field overall.
Wednesday's game was over when an Alec Burks jumpshot capped off a 13-4 run with 4:22 remaining in the third quarter, giving the Jazz a 97-75 lead. Twenty-two points proved to be too much for the Timberwolves to overcome, and they never came within 10 points of the Jazz for the remainder of the game.
Six different Jazz players scored in double figures, led by Gordon Hayward with his game-high 17 points. Perhaps no Jazzman was more influential on the floor in this game than any other player. Kanter took 10 shots and made half of them, made 5-of-6 free throws, grabbed eight rebounds, and threw in an assist and a steal for good measure.
Kanter's steal was remarkable for a big man. He cut into Derrick Williams' passing lane and took the ball the distance for an easy dunk near the 8-minute mark of the second quarter.
Jamaal Tinsley also had a very strong game for the Jazz as the starting point guard. In nearly 24 minutes, Tinsley shot 75 percent and had six rebounds, three assists and 12 points for Utah. Backup guard Earl Watson didn't have Tinsley's shooting or rebounding stats, but did notch a game-high nine assists.1 comment on this story
Surprisingly, Paul Millsap didn't register a single rebound in this game. He did, however, make 7 of his 8 shots and scored 14 points. He also notched three assists and three steals.
Wednesday's game saw the return of Andrei Kirilenko to the home of his former team. He was widely cheered during his pregame introduction. Kirilenko scored 12 points on seven shots, grabbed seven rebounds, dished two assists and blocked two shots in 30 minutes.
Despite the dominating win, the Jazz trailed 24-23 after the first quarter. This was the 12th game of the last 13 in which the Jazz trailed after the first quarter. Of those games, stretching back to Dec. 7, 2012, the Jazz are 6-7.