The Jazz came oh so close to notching their second win of the season, but an untimely turnover and an off-balance 3-pointer in the closing seconds did them in against the Timberwolves.
Final score: Minnesota 100, Utah 97.
Rodney Hood scored a team-high 20 points for the Jazz before he left the game with a strained calf midway through the fourth quarter. Hood had to be carried off the court and into the locker room after he stepped on Karl-Anthony Towns’ foot while fighting through a screen.
Ricky Rubio double-doubled (19 points, 10 assists) against his former team, while Derrick Favors (16 points), Joe Ingles (14 points) and Rudy Gobert (10 points, 13 rebounds, two steals, two blocks) also scored in double figures for the Jazz.
Andrew Wiggins (21 points) and Towns (20 points) led the Wolves in scoring, while veteran sharpshooter Jamal Crawford scored 17 points off the bench in the win.
Rubio was all over the place in his return to the Target Center. When he wasn’t pushing the pace and slinging passes all over the court, he was pressuring the ball on defense and throwing his body into harm’s way—his chin took the brunt of a flagrant foul by Minnesota’s Tyus Jones; he flew face-first into the padding at the base of the basketball standard; and he went nose-to-nose with Jimmy Butler as each player picked up a technical foul. Rubio shot 4-for-10 from the field and 10-for-11 from the line en route to 19 points. He added four rebounds, 10 assists and two steals in 33 minutes.
The Jazz trailed by 10 points with under five minutes left in the fourth quarter before they went on a 14-3 run. Favors threw down a two-handed dunk and Ingles drilled a 3-pointer before Rubio scored nine straight points (on a 3-pointer and six free throws) to give Utah a one-point lead in the final minute.
After a defensive stop, though, Gobert threw an errant pass that was picked up by Wiggins with just over 30 seconds left. Crawford proceeded to bury the Jazz in short order, canning a tough corner three with 27.5 seconds remaining. The Jazz had several chances to tie the game, but attempts from Favors, Gobert and Joe Johnson all came up empty.
Minnesota grabbed 10 offensive rebounds and converted those into 14 second-chance points. The Jazz scored only one second-chance point.
Each of Crawford’s 17 points came in the fourth quarter as the 37-year-old veteran shot 6-for-7 from the field (including 3-for-3 from 3-point range) and 2-for-2 from the line in the final 12 minutes.
Coach’s Quote of the Night
“We had the ball and were ahead at the end of the game. We didn’t make plays to close the game, on both sides of the ball. … I’m proud of the way we competed. I think if we keep doing that we’ll keep improving.”
Jazz head coach Quin Snyder
Johnson moved past Tom Chambers into the No. 40 spot on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. … The game had 10 ties and 10 lead changes. … Thabo Sefolosha scored nine points (on 4-for-4 shooting) and grabbed five rebounds off the bench for the Jazz. … Ingles (4-for-5) and Hood (3-for-7) combined to make seven of Utah’s nine 3-pointers. … Butler grabbed five steals for Minnesota. … Ekpe Udoh blocked a game-high three shots. … Utah outscored Minnesota 12-4 in fast-break points.
The Jazz will return home to face the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday. Tipoff is set for 7:00pm MT.