The Timberwolves took advantage of some shoddy defense and beat Utah 110-108 on Monday night, ending a four-game losing streak while improving to 2-0 against the Jazz this season.
Half of the Timberwolves' four wins have come against Utah.
"If I knew the formula, I would have them play that way against every single team," Minnesota coach Kurt Rambis said.
Rookie Jonny Flynn's layup with three seconds left broke a 108-all tie and Minnesota won it when Deron Williams' 3-pointer clanged off the rim just before the buzzer.
The Timberwolves were quicker than the Jazz and more determined, especially after pulling ahead in the third quarter and making Utah fight to get back in it down the stretch.
"As soon as we scored, they didn't wait for us to get down the floor. They ran right at us like they were going 90 miles an hour," Utah coach Jerry Sloan said. "We got lost a few times defensively."
Flynn finished with 28 points - eight more than he had ever scored in an NBA game -- while Corey Brewer tied his career high with 22 points. Al Jefferson added 23 points and 12 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who beat the Jazz Dec. 5 in Minneapolis 108-101.
"To come in here in this environment, to get a win against a playoff team, it's a good win for us," Flynn said. "When they made their runs we didn't get down. We just kept going at them."
Williams had a season-high 38 points and added 13 assists for Utah.
Carlos Boozer added 14 points and 14 rebounds and Mehmet Okur and Paul Millsap scored 13 apiece for the Jazz.
Utah was coming off a win over the Los Angeles Lakers two days before and was not nearly as intense on Monday. The Jazz seemed content with trying to outscore the Timberwolves rather than slow them down and Utah got burned in the end.
"We came out played a little bit sluggish and tried to fight back into it, which we did," Boozer said. "I'm not going to take anything away from them. They played a great basketball game."
Boozer also asked a very obvious question that nobody in the Utah locker room could answer.
"How come we can't get up for Minnesota but we can get up for everybody else?" he said.
The Jazz open a five-game trip Wednesday at New Jersey. It's usually on the road where the Jazz struggle, but Utah's loss on Monday was already the fourth at home this season.
The Jazz really hurt themselves from the free throw line, going 21 of 37. Only Williams saved Utah's free throw percentage by going 14 of 18.
The Timberwolves capitalized on the misses and outrebounded the Jazz 48-36.
"They could have beaten a lot of teams tonight," Sloan said.
After Jefferson put Minnesota up 107-106 on a 20-foot jumper with 1:13 left, Boozer was called for an offensive foul when he tried to drive on Brewer with 26.7 seconds to go. Williams quickly fouled Flynn, who went 1 of 2 from the line to put the Timberwolves back up 108-106 with 25 seconds left.
The Jazz got the rebound and called a timeout. Mehmet Okur was off on a 3-pointer, but Paul Millsap grabbed the rebound and kicked it back outside to Williams, who threaded a pass inside to Andrei Kirilenko for a dunk to tie it at 108 with 16.5 seconds left.
Minnesota called time out and after Flynn dribbled a few seconds off the clock, he drove around Williams and lofted a layup over Okur for the winner.
"This entire season and one or two after are going to be growing up periods for him," Rambis said. "I want to give him those opportunities to see what he can do in those late game situations and he delivered for us tonight."
|Minnesota (4-21) «||30||31||27||22||110|
|MIN:J. Flynn 28 Pts
MIN:K. Love 14 Reb
MIN:J. Flynn 5 Ast
|UTA:D. Williams 38 Pts
UTA:C. Boozer 14 Reb
UTA:D. Williams 13 Ast
|Players of the Game|
Timberwolves T-Shirt Majestic Threads #9 Rubio
$36.95 Shop Now!
|A. Jefferson, C||38||9-16||5-10||12||3||3||23|
|C. Brewer, SF||36||8-15||5-6||5||4||3||22|
|K. Love, PF||35||3-9||5-8||14||2||4||11|
|D. Wilkins, SG||33||2-4||1-1||3||4||1||5|
|J. Flynn, PG||29||11-19||2-3||1||5||5||28|
|O. Pecherov, C||19||2-5||4-4||5||0||4||8|
|R. Sessions, PG||19||3-7||0-0||5||1||3||6|
|S. Pavlovic, SG||15||1-4||1-2||3||2||1||4|
|W. Ellington, SG||12||1-4||0-0||0||0||1||3|
|R. Hollins, C||4||0-0||0-0||0||0||1||0|
|M. Blount, C||Did Not Play|
|R. Gomes, SF||Did Not Play|
|B. Cardinal, PF||Did Not Play|
|J. Hart, PG||Did Not Play|
|N. Jawai, PF||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|
|D. Williams, PG||41||11-20||14-18||3||13||3||38|
|C. Boozer, PF||37||7-15||0-3||14||3||6||14|
|R. Brewer, SG||35||3-8||2-2||5||2||2||8|
|W. Matthews, SG||33||3-9||1-1||1||3||2||8|
|M. Okur, C||27||5-9||1-2||4||2||5||13|
|P. Millsap, PF||24||6-9||1-3||3||0||4||13|
|A. Kirilenko, SF||15||3-4||2-4||2||1||1||8|
|K. Korver, SG||13||0-3||0-0||1||2||1||0|
|K. Fesenko, C||8||2-3||0-2||2||0||2||4|
|E. Maynor, PG||7||1-1||0-2||1||2||0||2|
|R. Price, PG||Did Not Play|
|K. Koufos, C||Did Not Play|
|C. Miles, SF||Did Not Play|
|M. Harpring, SF||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|