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Timberwolves hold off late rally, defeat Jazz 116-111

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Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, left, drives to the basket as Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jarrett Culver (23) defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

D'Angelo Russell had 25 points and six assists to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 116-111 victory over the Utah Jazz on Saturday night.

Karl-Anthony Towns added 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Timberwolves. Minnesota had five players score in double figures.

Jordan Clarkson scored 23 points and Donovan Mitchell added 21 to lead the Jazz. Mike Conley added 20 points and Rudy Gobert chipped in 18 points and 17 rebounds. Utah trailed over the final three quarters.

The Jazz rallied from a double-digit deficit and closed within 107-103 with 2:27 left on back-to-back 3-pointers from Mitchell. Russell hit a jumper and Josh Okogie cut to the basket for a dunk on Minnesota's next two possessions to keep Utah from erasing the Timberwolves' lead.

Utah made it a one-possession game on Gobert's putback dunk with 5.9 seconds left. Russell made only 1 of 2 free throws, giving the Jazz a chance to set up a tying 3-pointer. Bojan Bogdanovic turned it over on a five-second violation with 4.2 seconds left.

Minnesota used a 12-0 run to take a 24-15 lead late in the first quarter. Anthony Edwards scored three baskets — a go-ahead 3-pointer and back-to-back layups — to fuel the outburst. Edwards tallied nine of his 18 points in the quarter.

The Jazz cut the deficit to a single possession near the midway point of the second quarter, pulling within 44-41 on a floater from Clarkson. Minnesota stamped out the rally with a 10-2 run, punctuated by a banked floater from Beasley, and extended its lead to 54-43.

Utah struggled with defending the perimeter and could not adapt enough on offense to handle consistent pressure from the Timberwolves.

Minnesota shot 55% from 3-point range in the first half. The Timberwolves made 11 3-pointers before halftime. On the other end, they forced 12 Jazz turnovers and turned those into 17 points.

Not much changed for either team in the third quarter. Minnesota led by as many as 17 points in the quarter, going up 86-69 on a Naz Reid 3-pointer.

TIP INS

Timberwolves: Towns blocked four shots, his highest number of blocks in a game since the 2018-19 season. Jarrett Culver went 3 of 3 from 3-point range and finished with 14 points. Minnesota scored 26 points off 18 Utah turnovers.

Jazz: Conley scored Utah's first nine points of the third quarter. Mitchell and Bogdanovic were a combined 9-of-39 shooting from the field. Royce O'Neale finished with 13 rebounds. The Jazz had a moment of silence before tipoff for Utah running back Ty Jordan, who died from an accidental gunshot wound on Friday night.

UP NEXT

Timberwolves: Continue their three-game road trip against the Clippers in Los Angeles on Sunday.

Jazz: Hit the road to face the Thunder in Oklahoma City on Monday.

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