Jazz Open Second Half With Run, Take First Lead Over Timberwolves
SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz came out of the locker room and opened the second half with a scoring run to take their first lead over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Timberwolves hosted the Jazz at Target Center on Friday, October 21.
After trailing 64-55 at halftime, Utah opened the third quarter with scoring spurt to take its first lead of the night. The Jazz went on a 16-4 run during the first 4:35 of the second half.
Jazz Scoring Run
- Kelly Olynyk makes 25-foot step back jumpshot
- Jordan Clarkson makes 26-foot three point jumper
- Mike Conley makes 24-foot three point jumper
- Lauri Markkanen makes two free throws
- Jordan Clarkson makes 25-foot three point jumper
- Lauri Markkanen makes 2-foot dunk
The run helped Utah take a 71-68 lead and forced Minnesota to take a timeout with 7:25 left in the third quarter.
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) October 22, 2022
Before the Jazz’s run, the Timberwolves lead had reached 17 points in the first half.
Jazz vs. Timberwolves
Rudy Gobert on playing Utah
Rudy Gobert said he is rooting for the Utah Jazz to succeed even now as he plays for the rival Minnesota Timberwolves.
The all-world defender and former Jazzman said it would be strange to see his former team when they meet on Friday night in Minnesota, but expects a fun game.
Both the Jazz and Timberwolves got wins in their season openers before the highly-touted matchup.
The Timberwolves opened their season with a narrow 115-108 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday.
Gobert was brilliant in his Minnesota debut scoring 23 points and grabbing 16 rebounds on 10-15 shooting to open the season.
Former #UtahJazz C Rudy Gobert spoke to the media before tipping off against his former team. He said that the direction the Jazz took this offseason to rebuild wasn't all that shocking to him.#TakeNote l @KSLSports pic.twitter.com/v0EAP3HC9o
— Sam Farnsworth (@Samsworth_KSL) October 21, 2022
The three-time Defensive Player of the Year said he was looking forward to the game two matchups with the Jazz after Wednesday’s win.
“It’s definitely going to be weird,” Gobert told The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski. “Those jerseys are a little different but it’s still going to be weird to play against someone with Utah on them.”
Gobert spent the first nine seasons of his NBA career with the Jazz where he became one of the most decorated players in team history.
Since 2016, the center has been named to six consecutive All-Defensive first teams, has earned four All-NBA honors, and received three All-Star nods.
The Jazz have undergone significant turnover since Gobert last called Utah home, but the future Hall of Famer said he still anticipates an enjoyable reunion.
“Even though Quin [Snyder] is not there anymore, it’s still going to be fun,” Gobert said. “It’s going to be fun, and you know it’s all love for me. I want to see these guys succeed and I’m sure they want to see me succeed, too.”
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) October 22, 2022
Jazz arrive in Minnesota with 1-0 record
While the Timberwolves were expected to beat the Thunder in their season opener, the Jazz turned heads on opening night by lowing out the Denver Nuggets 123-102.
Collin Sexton led the Jazz with 20 points off the bench while rookie Walker Kessler recorded a historic stat line in his rookie debut.
Kessler is the first player in NBA history to record a double-double without missing a shot from the field in his rookie debut.
The Jazz scored 75 points against the Nuggets in the first half and resisted Denver’s attempts to close the game in the third and fourth quarters.
“They threw a big punch in the second half to get back in the game, they have really good players and they’re well coached,” Jazz coach Will Hardy said. “Our guys just stuck together. We maintained our identity on the defensive and offensive end well tonight.”
Seven Jazz players finished in double figures while each player who saw regular rotational minutes recorded at least one assist in the win.
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