Utah Jazz vs Minnesota Timberwolves Recap 10/21/2022

by Alma Bean

Image by Bally Sports

The Utah Jazz pulled off a miraculous win against the Minnesota Timberwolves in overtime, 132-126.

On Friday night, the Utah Jazz faced the Minnesota Timberwolves in an instant classic. In the second game of the season, Rudy Gobert faces his former team whom he called home for nine seasons, in his new home in Minneapolis. During their morning shootaround, Gobert spoke with Eric Walden, Utah Jazz beat writer for the Salt Lake Tribune, about what this matchup means to him.

Eric Walden on Twitter: “Rudy Gobert said he’s grateful to the Utah Jazz for giving him a chance, that those 9 years were a big part of his life. As for facing the Jazz tonight: “It says ‘Utah’ on Jersey, but …” https://t.co/x6vV3oFXgR” / Twitter

The first Half meets Preseason Expectations

After a “Welcome Back” tribute for Malik Beasley, Leandro Bolmaro, Walker Kessler, and Jarred Vanderbilt, it was time for tip-off. Utah started off this game just like the last, unnecessary turnovers and allowing easy shots throughout the first quarter. Only three minutes into the game, Minnesota held onto a 15-3 lead. Utah managed to fight back over the next two minutes cutting the deficit to 21-13. Minnesota managed to control the rest of the quarter by leading 41-26. Utah’s Lauri Markkanen did manage to create a highlight in the process that couldn’t be ignored.

Utah Jazz on Twitter: “Markkanen mean mug 😠 #TakeNote | @MarkkanenLauri https://t.co/sYXlLUlSj7” / Twitter

Going into the second quarter, managed to gain some confidence. Kelly Olynyk quietly led the Jazz in scoring with 12 points. Markkanen, a little more noticeably, scored 12 points in the first half also. Something that was hard to watch was Walker Kessler’s visible frustration on the court. The rookie out of Auburn had to face arguably the toughest frontcourt in the NBA. Having to fight for rebounds against Gobert and Karl Anthony-Towns, Kessler looked visibly upset. Kessler managed to get out of that funk after getting two blocks on a single possession. One of those blocks is against Gobert.

Utah Jazz on Twitter: “about to be Blocker Kessler #TakeNote | @WalkerKessler13 https://t.co/8fXxGi4Oyw” / Twitter

With those blocks, Utah gained some confidence and finished the first half trailing 64-55. After being down by as much as 17 points, Utah wasn’t going down without a fight.

Second Half Resurgence

After coming back from the locker room, Utah could not seem to miss. Before Minnesota’s timeout at the 7:25 mark, Utah was on a 16-4 run to start the quarter. At this point, it seemed as if Utah was able to play a little more relaxed and have fun on the court. Olynyk and Markkanen were able to have momentum-shifting dunks halfway through the quarter that left the Minnesota court silenced.

Utah Jazz on Twitter: “exhibit A: https://t.co/pI8MGAFLxh” / Twitter

Though momentum was on Utah’s side, Minnesota didn’t allow them to run away with the lead. The largest lead for Utah in the third quarter was four points.

The back and forth on the scoreboard continued in the fourth quarter. The largest lead by either team in the fourth quarter was seven points with just under two minutes left in the game. Though Jordan Clarkson is a starter for this Jazz team, he got hot in the fourth quarter. He was doing whatever the team needed to be successful whether he had to be the facilitator or scorer, Clarkson had the answer.

Final Minute

With one minute left in the game, Utah held the lead 120-115. Anthony-Towns missed a contested layup followed by a missed putback by Gobert. Gobert got a second chance after the putback and made the shot while being fouled by Olynyk. Gobert makes the free throw to make the score 120-118 with 44.8 seconds left. Utah then dribbles up the court using as much time as possible to prevent another scoring opportunity for Minnesota. Markkanen pulled up for a midrange shot and missed. Whistles blow for a foul on Olynyk to foul out of the game (21/3/3.) Timeout is taken by Utah with 22 seconds left as they challenged the call. At the end of the review, the call stands but ruled a double-foul on Olynyk and Anthony-Towns. With this call, by rule, the following play is a jump ball.

With Olynyk out, Kessler takes his place. Minnesota wins the tip and holds onto the ball to get, potentially, the last shot of the game. D’Angelo Russell gets the iso against Mike Conley and Conley gets hit with a crossover that sends him to the floor and a made bucket by Russell with 4.4 seconds left in the game. After Utah’s timeout to progress the ball to halfcourt, the ball was put in Markkanen’s hands at the perimeter getting some space from Gobert and the shot hits the back of the rim. End of regulation 120-120.


Overtime started off with neither team leaving the offensive end without a basket. Once the game reached the midway point of overtime, Utah didn’t look back. Utah ran away with the lead and to put a cherry on top, Vanderbilt (4/14/5) got an assist from Conley (12/11/3) to solidify the win against Vanderbilt’s former team. The final score is 132-126.


Once the final buzzer rang, Utah looked overcome with joy as they hugged and celebrated with one another. The big factors that put the game in Utah’s favor are ball movement and three-point percentage. Utah had 39 assists, which according to StatMuse, is the most Utah has had in the last decade. With a three-point percentage, Utah went 20-50 (40%) compared to Minnesota’s 11-33 (33.3%) during their matchup. Though Utah came out with the win, Gobert still played the same style of basketball. Being a single point shy of a double-double, Gobert still managed to collect 23 rebounds. Will Hardy addressed the media saying why this Utah team has been tough and resilient.

(1) Eric Walden on Twitter: “Will Hardy: We are perfectly imperfect at times. Cites 39 assists and 30 forced turnovers as key factors. https://t.co/JkXHOzYYoT” / Twitter

What’s Next?

While Gobert waits for his homecoming on Dec. 9, Utah will be on a plane to New Orleans to face the 2-0 Pelicans on Sunday, Oct. 23. You can catch the game on AT&T SportsNet at 5:00 PM MST. This will be game two of three of their three-game road trip before returning to Utah on Wednesday.

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