Web Editorial Associate
The Minnesota Timberwolves opened up the newly renovated Target Center the right way Friday night.
Minnesota took down the Utah Jazz 100-97 in the home opener in front of a sellout crowd of 18,978.
The Wolves trailed 96-95 with 29.8 seconds left, until Jamal Crawford buried a corner three to give Minnesota a two-point lead. Minnesota wouldn’t look back.
“We had to grind it out at the end, they made some big plays and some poor decisions on our end, but we grinded it out and got the win, so that’s all that matters,” Wolves wing Andrew Wiggnis said after the game.
The Wolves were led by Wiggins’ 21 points and five rebounds and Karl-Anthony Towns’ 20 points and 10 rebounds. Crawford had 17 points off the bench, Jimmy Butler added 13 points, seven rebounds, five steals and three assists, Nemanja Bjelica had 10 points and five rebounds off the bench, and Jeff Teague tallied 10 points, four assists and two steals.
Rodney Hood had 20 points and Ricky Rubio had 19 points, 10 assists and five rebounds in his Minnesota return to lead Utah. Derrick Favors had 16 points and four rebounds, Joe Ingles had 14 points and three rebounds, and Rudy Gobert had 10 points and 12 rebounds.
With the win, Minnesota improves to 1-1 on the season. Utah falls to 1-1 on the year.
Highlight Of The Game
As time expired in the second quarter, Wiggins pulled up for a deep three to beat the clock and give the Wolves a boost heading into the locker room.
That basket gave Minnesota a 46-42 halftime lead.
The Numbers Game
- Minnesota outrebounded Utah 45-37 in the game.
- The Wolves bench outscored the Jazz’s 32-18.
- Minnesota finished shooting 44.4 percent from the field in the game, while Utah shot 48.1 percent.
Player Of The Game
Friday night’s Wolves Player of the Game goes to none other than Jamal Crawford, who made his home debut.
Crawford buried the go-ahead shot late and was the difference in the fourth quarter, helping carry Minnesota past Utah.
“Jamal was great for us tonight,” Wiggins said. “He made big shots, making key plays on key possessions. He helped pull out the win for us.”
Crawford finished with 17 points (on 4-of-8 shooting) in 20 minutes of play.
Minnesota will hit the road to take on the new-look Oklahoma City Thunder at 6 p.m. Sunday in Oklahoma City. The game will be aired on Fox Sports North and 830 WCCO.