Well, somehow the Jazz managed to walk out of Minnesota with a win… a win that neither team truly seemed to want. The Jazz played horribly for the first 44 or so minutes, falling behind by 10 late. Then the Jazz exploded (19-7 run to end the game), the Timberwolves imploded (1 FG in the last 6 minutes, plus late FT misses by Kevin Love that really did them in), and the Jazz walked away with a win after a late Okur fall-away shot and a steal on the inbound pass by Deron.
Of course, the Jazz should’ve won walking away if you look at the numbers. Love missed 7 of his 9 FTs, aiding the Timberwolves miserable night at the line (16 missed FTs). The T-Wolves took 13 more shots than the Jazz from the field, but only made 1 more. The Jazz made 4 more FTs than the Wolves. The Jazz took 4 less long-balls than the Wolves, but made 1 more. The Jazz did have 6 more TOs though, and 3 fewer boards. The T-Wolves had 3 more steals, and 2 more blocks… but none of those directly impact the points scored. Somehow though, it came down to the final 10 seconds, and the Jazz prevailed.
- Ronnie Brewer had himself a solid night, complete with a career-high 25 points, 5 boards & 5 steals. And 2 assists. And given the off-nights for a couple of other players, 8-12 from the field and 9-11 from the line is always a good thing.
- Deron went 2-11 from the field, but his 8-8 from the line helped him get a 12 & 11 double-double.
- No such luck for AK, who finished 2-10 from the field, good for 7 points, 5 boards & 3 blocks.
- Okur was 8-17 (2-5 from deep), good for 21 & 13. He also had 4 assists & 2 blocks.
- ‘Sap was 5-7 and finished with 15 & 10. The one thing I heard mentioned afterwords (by Tom Nissalke, I think) was that ‘Sap doesn’t battle for position down low like Booze does. That’s the one thing to consider if he does leave… the Jazz are left without a presence down low unless ‘Sap bulks up and starts playing inside more. And with the Jazz offense seemingly predicated on having someone down their demanding double-teams if nothing else…
- CJ went 2-3 early, and then totally disappeared. Not in the sense that he just wandered around the court. But disappeared as in the sense that he barely saw the court. Yeah, he had 4 fouls… but so did other players. And with AK (& the rest of the bench struggling), CJ only getting 16 minutes is very confusing.
- Korver finally woke up late in the game, draining a trey to put the Jazz up. Of course, if he makes some of his other shots, maybe it’s not this close. Which made the CJ on the bench thing even more confusing. Korver was obviously having issues, and yet J-Slow didn’t even give CJ a shot.
- No Knees only played 4 minutes, which is totally amazing. Of course, that is 4 minutes more than Ronnie Price got, but yeah…
- Al Jefferson went 8-20 against the interior D. Craig Smith went 6-8. Love went 3-9. Ryan Gomes went 6-12. Lucky for the Jazz that the T-Wolves guards stunk it up (Foye was 4-11, McCants was 2-12)… in fact, if it wasn’t for Kevin Ollie (!!!… yes, that Kevin Ollie) and his 2-5 shooting & 3-4 from the line (seemingly all in the 4th quarter), maybe the Jazz don’t need a late jumper (1.8 seconds left) and then 2 FTs to seal the deal.
- Both benches combined for 21 points. The Jazz bench was 7-19 from the field and 6-7 from the line. The T-Wolves crew was also 7-19, but a miserable 5-13 from the line (again, Kevin Love). The Wolves bench owned the boards, though (21-11), with Love (15) outrebounding the entire Jazz crew.
- Canis Hoopus recaps here.
While I’ll take the win, it’s not a win you want to build off of or anything (even if the Jazz now have more wins in Minny this season than they did last season). It was horribly ugly, and another game like that almost certainly ends in a loss. Oh, and for those that were hoping… Booze won’t be back for the Portland game tomorrow. Maybe Saturday, they’re saying now.