Timberwolves cruise to 109-98 win over Rubio, Jazz
SALT LAKE CITY — Karl-Anthony Towns had 24 points and 13 rebounds, and Jimmy Butler added 21 points and 10 assists to help the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Utah Jazz 109-98 on Monday night.
Jeff Teague scored 22 points for the Timberwolves, and Taj Gibson had 15 points and 10 rebounds. Minnesota (8-5) snapped a two-game skid after shooting 52.1 percent (37 of 71) from the field.
Donovan Mitchell scored 24 points and Rodney Hood added 16 to lead the Jazz (6-8), who lost for the fourth time in their last five home games.
Utah fell behind 33-14 heading into the second quarter after struggling to get stops in the paint or get on track offensively. Towns slammed down a pair of dunks to help Minnesota take its first double-digit lead at 13-3. His teammates took turns slashing to the rim for layups to keep the foot firmly planted on the gas pedal.
The Jazz couldn’t find an answer, going just 6 of 21 from the field in the first quarter. Their shooting improved in the second, when consecutive 3-pointers from Hood and a banked floater from Thabo Sefolosha allowed Utah to cut Minnesota’s lead to 54-42 in the final minute before halftime.
Things turned sour for the Jazz again after the break. Their defensive troubles resurfaced in the third quarter as Minnesota shot 11 of 16 and hit all four 3s it attempted.
The Timberwolves led by 26 in the quarter, going up 86-60 after Gibson dunked the ball and Butler drained a pull-up jumper on back-to-back possessions.
Utah made a charge late in the fourth and cut the deficit to 105-94 on a 3-pointer from Mitchell with 2:32 left.
Timberwolves: Attempted 29 free throws while limiting Utah to nine. . Gibson has four double-doubles in six November starts. He’s averaging 12.7 points and 10.0 rebounds during that stretch. . Minnesota had a 40-31 edge on the glass.
Jazz: F Jonas Jerebko made his first start of the season and finished with 13 points and six rebounds in 25 minutes. . Hood shot 50 percent from the perimeter for the second straight game, going 3 of 6 from long distance. … Utah finished with a 49-16 advantage in bench points.
Timberwolves: Wednesday they host the San Antonio Spurs, who will be traveling to Minnesota on the second leg of a back-to-back road trip after facing the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday.
Jazz: Begin a four-game road trip Wednesday at the New York Knicks.