Up by 23 near the end of the third quarter, the Jazz had the game in the bag.
Until, suddenly, they didn’t.
Minnesota started the final period on a 15-2 run and eventually pulled within one in the closing minute before Utah held on for a nerve-wracking 106-102 victory Friday night in Salt Lake City.
“We played in spurts, and in the spurts we didn’t play well we lost focus and just weren’t smart,” Jazz head coach Quin Snyder said. “We were fortunate to win the game.”
The Jazz (28-22) have now won 10 of their last 12 games and currently sit in sixth place in the Western Conference standings.
Donovan Mitchell led the way with 24 points, seven rebounds and 11 assists (which tied his career high). It was his first double-double of the season. Mitchell started hot with 11 first-quarter points, but he shot only 3-for-18 from the field the rest of the way.
Rudy Gobert finished with 18 points and 16 rebounds, plus a game-high net rating of +15, while Kyle Korver came off the bench to score 16 points and shoot 4-for-9 from beyond the arc.
Derrick Favors (13 points, six rebounds) and Joe Ingles (12 points, three steals) also scored in double figures in the win.
Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns played only six first-half minutes because of foul trouble, but the star center came alive after halftime and led the Wolves’ roaring comeback. Towns finished with 33 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, one steal and three blocks. He played all but one minute of the final two quarters.
Andrew Wiggins scored 21 points (on 8-for-26 shooting) and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Timberwolves (24-25) in the loss.