Towns, Butler lead Timberwolves past Jazz
SALT LAKE CITY—Karl-Anthony Towns scored 24 points and collected 13 rebounds while Jimmy Butler added 21 points and 10 assists to help the Minnesota Timberwolves overwhelm the Utah Jazz for a 109-98 victory on Monday night, Nov. 13.
Taj Gibson also finished with a double-double for Minnesota, adding 15 points and 10 rebounds. Jeff Teague chipped in 22 points.
The Timberwolves (8-5) snapped a two-game losing streak by shooting 52.1 percent (37 of 71) from the field and 50 percent from 3-point range.
Donovan Mitchell scored 24 points and Rodney Hood added 16 points to lead the Jazz. Utah (6-8) lost for the fourth time in its last five games on its home floor.
Poor shooting and equally poor interior defense plagued the Jazz during the first quarter. Utah shot just 6 of 21 from the field and allowed a flurry of dunks and layups on the other end.
Minnesota wasted no time building a commanding lead. The Timberwolves opened the game on a 15-3 run. Towns capped it with a dunk and then a steal that he fed to Andrew Wiggins for a layup. They eventually surged to a 19-point lead, going up 31-12 on a three-point play from Gibson with 58.9 seconds left in the quarter.
Utah saw some improvement on the offensive end in the second quarter. Hood drilled back-to-back 3-pointers and Thabo Sefolosha banked in a floater to cut Minnesota's lead to 54-42 in the final minute before halftime.
It didn't get much better for the Jazz in the second half. The Timberwolves shot a blistering 68.8 percent (11 of 16) in the third quarter and connected on all four 3-pointers they attempted. It allowed Minnesota to bury Utah.
The Timberwolves led by as many as 26 points in the third quarter, going up 86-60 when Gibson had a dunk and Butler buried a pull-up jumper on consecutive possessions.
Utah made a late charge in the fourth quarter and cut it to 105-94 on a 3-pointer from Mitchell with 2:32 remaining.
NOTES: Jazz F Jonas Jerebko made his first start of the season. Jerebko totaled 13 points and six rebounds in 25 minutes. ... Minnesota F Taj Gibson has had fourth double-doubles in six November starts. He is averaging 12.7 points and 10.0 rebounds during that stretch. ... Utah outscored Minnesota 49-16 in bench points. ... The Timberwolves finished with a 40-31 edge on the glass.