Minnesota Timberwolves vs Utah Jazz Recap

Minnesota Timberwolves vs Utah Jazz Recap

by Alma Bean

Feature Image: Photo by Ryan Sun of Deseret News.

The Utah Jazz (27-28) takes on the Minnesota Timberwolves (29-28) in their third meeting of the season and final game of Utah’s five-game homestand.

New Tale in the Twin Cities

About 30 minutes before tip-off, Minnesota and Utah were involved in a blockbuster three-team trade. Details of the trade are below:
Los Angeles Lakers: Malik Beasley (UTA), D’Angelo Russell (MIN), Jarred Vanderbilt (UTA)

Minnesota Timberwolves: Nickeil Alexander-Walker (UTA), Mike Conley (UTA), 2024 Second Round Pick Swap (via WAS-MEM), 2025 and 2026 Second Round Picks (both UTA)

Utah Jazz: Russell Westbrook (LAL), Juan Tuscano-Anderson (LAL), Damian Jones (LAL), Top-4 Protected 2027 First-Round Pick (LAL)

Players like Conley knew before the official news went public, but he still wanted to act like things were normal. Conley went about his routine and went through his pregame warmups for one final time in a Jazz uniform. The feeling in the arena was awkward and eerie after the news broke, but there was still a game to be played.

Things felt somewhat normal scoring-wise. Lauri Markkanen (21/5/3) and Collin Sexton (22/5/5) were able to still score at will with eight points in the quarter for a combined 5/8 (62.5%). Minnesota was able to rely on their star guard Anthony Edwards (31/7/8) leading all scorers with 14 points on 6/10 (60%) shooting. Overall, Utah put up a good fight with some on-the-spot rotations but trailed Minnesota 33-31.

Utah Jazz on Twitter: “💟 purple headband and all 💟 #TakeNote https://t.co/fivfPvjZLE” / Twitter

Though Utah kept things close early, the second quarter looked to be the beginning of the downfall. Minnesota started off the quarter on an 18-9 run while Utah became one-dimensional on offense. Becoming predictable on offense with having to rely on Markkanen and Sexton, Minnesota began to pick Utah apart. Got so bad for Utah that they trailed as much as 19 points in the second quarter. Even allowing players like Naz Reid (8/7/3) to be able to shoot uncontested perimeter shots as if he wasn’t a threat shooting 33.1 percent this season. Utah was able to diminish the lead slightly before the half to 77-67.

Utah Jazz on Twitter: “SÌ Simone 🤌 https://t.co/zpFLYb1Myj” / Twitter

Back to the Future of Utah?

Coming back from the half should be the quarter that Utah fans forget about. Utah shot 9/28 (32.1%) from the field and a scary 1/7 (14.3%) from the perimeter. That one perimeter shot came from Kelly Olynyk (14/6/1) who was the one offensive factor that Minnesota would tend to forget about. Minnesota didn’t seem too concerned as they went on to score their second straight 40+ point quarter of the game and Edwards led all scorers with 31 points going into the final quarter with a 117-88 lead.

Utah Jazz on Twitter: “biiiiig stretch for the bucket 🏴‍☠️ https://t.co/Nzg1Mq2Nka” / Twitter

With nearly a 30-point deficit, Utah had nothing left to lose. Began to see some lineups that Utah fans have rarely seen including Udoka Azubuike (4 points and 5 rebounds) and Talen Horton-Tucker (15/1/6). Minnesota was able to put NBA G League Next Up captain Luka Garza (25/3/3) at work getting his career-high in points. Most Utah fans had made their way to the exits before seeing Utah suffer one of their worse losses of the season 143-118.

Utah Jazz on Twitter: “DOK U N K #TakeNote https://t.co/PkdK7UwkB7” / Twitter

What’s Next

Utah will go on the road for a four-game trip starting with the Toronto Raptors on Friday.

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