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Minnesota at Utah

Jazz 106, Timberwolves 91

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

SALT LAKE CITY -- Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer made every possession count down the stretch, just the way Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan preaches.

"We had a real good finish because I thought we executed pretty well," said Sloan, who saw his team convert seven of its last eight possessions while beating the Minnesota Timberwolves 106-91 on Monday night.

Mehmet Okur scored 28 points and Boozer had 10 points in a three-minute stretch of the fourth quarter to lead the Jazz to their fourth straight win.

Sloan, who is the longest tenured coach in any major professional sport, has been running many of the same plays for 19 years. But when the Jazz run them right, they are tough to stop.

"They make easy baskets," said Minnesota's Kevin Garnett, who returned from a one-game suspension with 17 points and 11 rebounds. "They play together and they have a nice nucleus for the future. I can see Jerry starting that Karl Malone/John Stockton thing all over again."

Williams had 21 points and tied his career high with 15 assists, last achieved on Nov. 11 against Milwaukee, and Boozer added 18 points.

"Deron is making his shots. He came out in the third quarter and had a run when he was making his shots and looked pretty comfortable with the basketball, getting on top of the basket," Sloan said.

As any good point guard does, Williams deflected the praise to Okur, the recipient of many of his passes.

"He's definitely important. He's playing great for us as of late," Williams said. "Hitting shots, going to basket, drawing fouls and it definitely opens things up for everyone else when he's hitting on all cylinders."

Okur, who has averaged 27 points over the last five games, scored 19 in the second half and was 4-of-6 from 3-point range.

Mark Madsen made a free throw to cut the lead to 96-87 with 3:21 remaining, but Okur made two foul shots and Boozer capped his fourth-quarter spurt with a driving basket and a jumper to clinch Utah's fourth straight victory after a season-high four-game skid.

"Some nights we just make it hard on ourselves. If we move the ball, it seems easy. When we play selfish and don't swing the ball and do the things we're supposed to, we look bad," Garnett said.

Ricky Davis also returned from a one-game suspension and led Minnesota with 32 points, but the Timberwolves still lost their fourth straight.

In Minnesota's 104-98 loss to Detroit on Friday, Garnett was ejected and then suspended after throwing the ball at Antonio McDyess and then taking a swipe at him. Davis got his penalty for leaving the bench and walking into the locker room during that game.

Without Garnett and Davis, the Timberwolves lost 131-102 to Phoenix on Sunday in the opener of their five-game road trip.

The Jazz exploited the Wolves' weak interior defense with 48 points in the paint and a bevy of dunks and layups off the team's 30 assists. The Jazz also set a season low with just eight turnovers.

"Guys were just getting open for me. Guys were hitting shots and making some good cuts and I was able to find them and they finished for me so when my teammates are doing that it's pretty easy to get assists," Williams said.

Utah, third in the league in field goal percentage, shot 55.6 percent against Minnesota, its best mark since making 55.7 percent against the Atlanta Hawks on Dec. 20.

Minnesota led by six points in the first quarter but Matt Harpring led a group of reserves in capturing the lead for good in the second quarter. With the Jazz trailing 31-30, Harpring scored seven of his 11 points in a 19-5 run that gave Utah a 49-36 advantage at halftime.

"We had some lapses, but I thought we had a really good run in the second quarter. We got up 13 and then the beginning of the third quarter wasn't so good and then we regrouped," Harpring said.

As the Jazz double-teamed Garnett, Davis scored 16 points in the third quarter to try and keep the Timberwolves within striking distance but Okur scored 14 in the period and the Jazz led 83-66.


  • Garnett is tops in the league with 35 games of 10 or more points and rebounds. Boozer is second with 31.
  • The game was the eighth straight sellout for the Jazz, who filled their arena just five times last season.
  • Minnesota is 4-7 on tail ends of back-to-back sets.
  • Wolves coach Dwane Casey got a technical foul with 2.8 seconds left in the third quarter.
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Minnesota (20-20) 2313302591
Utah (28-14) «20293423106
MIN:R. Davis 32 Pts
MIN:K. Garnett 11 Reb
MIN:M. James 6 Ast
UTA:M. Okur 28 Pts
UTA:A. Kirilenko 5 Reb
UTA:D. Williams 15 Ast
Players of the Game

D. Williams

R. Davis

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K. Garnett, PF428-161-1112217
R. Davis, SG4110-168-923132
T. Hassell, SF412-70-04524
M. Blount, C344-93-460211
M. James, PG264-101-146210
R. Foye, PG224-80-00349
C. Smith, PF111-30-03002
M. Madsen, C91-11-43123
T. Hudson, PG80-50-01010
M. Jaric, PG61-10-01013
B. Wright, SGDid Not Play
E. Griffin, PFDid Not Play
J. Reed, SFDid Not Play
R. McCants, SGDid Not Play
Totals 35-7614-1935201791
D. Williams, PG389-162-2315221
D. Fisher, PG363-103-44739
M. Okur, C3510-164-550228
C. Boozer, PF339-140-053318
A. Kirilenko, SF293-51-35017
M. Harpring, SF265-91-131411
J. Collins, C161-10-02332
G. Giricek, SG143-70-02016
P. Millsap, PF132-30-03104
R. Araujo, CDid Not Play
C. Miles, SFDid Not Play
R. Brewer, SGDid Not Play
D. Brown, PGDid Not Play
Totals 45-8111-15323019106
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