NBA Game Summary - Utah at Minnesota
(Wednesday, February 22nd)
Final Score: Minnesota 100, Utah 98
Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Luke Ridnour finished with 17 points, none bigger than his floater at the final buzzer, lifting the Timberwolves to a 100-98 comeback victory over the Jazz at Target Center on Wednesday.
With seven ticks on the clock, Minnesota inbounded the ball to J.J. Barea, who dished it back to Ridnour. Ridnour split the defense at the top of the key and let go of a floater from the foul line that hit nothing but nylon to complete an 18-point comeback for the Timberwolves.
Five Jazz players finished in double figures, led by 22 off the bench from Barea. Nikola Pekovic added 15 and Derrick Williams netted 13 points to help Minnesota reach the .500 mark at the All-Star break.
Paul Millsap led the Jazz with 25 points to go with nine rebounds, while Al Jefferson contributed a double-double with 18 points and 11 boards to hand Utah its third straight loss. Josh Howard added 19 points.
"It felt like we were in control the whole game. The crowd was out of it completely," said Jazz swingman Gordon Hayward. "They hit some big shots and you have to give them credit. They got the crowd and momentum shifted. We have to be able to finish games."
An Earl Watson layup with 7:59 left gave the Jazz an 85-70 advantage, but Utah went cold, failing to make a field goal over the next five-plus minutes as the Timberwolves reeled off a 21-5 run to take a 91-90 advantage.
Ridnour capped the run with a triple to give the T'wolves their first lead since the opening seconds of the game.
After a Jefferson jumper made it a three-point game, Williams ripped down an offensive board and converted on a three-point play to tie it at 93.
Later, Ridnour made two from the free throw line and Millsap answered with a jumper to make it a 97-96 game.
Ricky Rubio then stepped to the line, having already missed all four of his attempts, and got the second to fall after bricking the first to give the Wolves a 98-96 edge with 22.3 ticks on the clock.
The Jazz called an isolation for Jefferson, who knocked down a jumper with Kevin Love draped all over him to tie the game at 98, but seven seconds remained on the clock for Ridnour to work his magic.
"I don't think I would have believed it," said Love when asked about he and Rubio being held to four points in the second half. "It just shows you that it takes a collective unit to win on most nights. We're more than just two guys. We're a legit team who can bring it together and we needed everyone to step up."
After a Jefferson jumper pressed the lead to its highest point at 14, Pekovic knocked down two free throws to send the Timberwolves into the second quarter trailing 27-15.
The Utah lead ballooned as high as 18 and dropped as low as 10 during the second, but Devin Harris' layup gave the Jazz a 49-37 halftime edge.
Minnesota bounced back in the third, outscoring the Jazz 17-6 over the first four minutes of the quarter, to cut the deficit to 55-52, however, the Jazz recorded the next 10, reestablishing their double-digit lead and took a 77-64 edge into the final frame.
The Jazz dominated points in the paint, outscoring Minnesota 58-30...Minnesota finished 11-of-22 from long range, while the Jazz managed to hit just one of their seven attempts from beyond the arc...Love finished with a double-double scoring 10 points and grabbing 10 rebounds...Hayward finished with seven points.
02/22 23:43:32 ET