UTAH JAZZ

Jazz Rookies Struggle In Loss To Timberwolves

Mar 16, 2024, 10:45 PM | Updated: Mar 18, 2024, 2:49 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz dropped their 12th game in their last 15 outings falling to the Minnesota Timberwolves 119-100.

Playing without Lauri Markkanen, John Collins, and Jordan Clarkson, Collin Sexton scored 22 points to lead the Jazz in the loss.

Anthony Edwards scored 31 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Timberwolves who were without Rudy Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns.

Former Jazzman Mike Conley scored 25 points on 8-12 shooting.

Jazz Rookies Struggle In Loss

While the Jazz’s three first-round picks from the 2023 NBA Draft have all flashed their potential in recent weeks, Saturday’s loss to the Timberwolves wasn’t a performance for the highlight reel.

Keyonte George, Brice Sensabaugh, and Taylor Hendricks combined for 41 points on just 14-40 shooting including 3-19 from three.

The rookies recorded eight turnovers and just five assists in 90 total minutes on the floor.

Despite averaging over 22 points per game over his last five outings, George, the Jazz’s best rookie found himself benched to close the game after struggling to execute a play coming out of a timeout.

“I hold Key to a high standard,” Jazz coach Will Hardy said. “And if he’s going to be the future of this program, which is something that I think he’s capable of being, he has to hold himself to that standard as well.”

It wasn’t all bad for the Jazz first-year players.

Hendricks scored a career-high 15 points and recorded his first double-double snaring 10 rebounds, but had a team-worst -23 plus-minus in 33 minutes on the floor.

“Taylor is showing the ability to guard a variety of people, and so I think there is there is some potential there moving forward,” Hardy said. “But nights like tonight show you there’s a lot of work to be done.”

The Jazz have enough evidence to feel confident that they’ve made wise investments with last year’s draft capital, but their performance against Minnesota is a reminder of how much growth is needed to compete with the top teams in the West.

Jazz Standings Watch

With their loss to the Timberwolves, teamed with the Houston Rockets surprising win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Jazz now sit at 29-38, three full games back of the Rockets for the 11th seed in the West.

With just 15 games left to play, the Rockets have the 11th easiest schedule remaining in the NBA while the Jazz have the third most difficult.

The Jazz and Rockets will face one another three more times before the end of the regular season, but with Houston’s recent five-game winnings streak, the Jazz are nearly guaranteed to finish with one of the 10-worst records in the NBA, giving them at least an 80 percent chance of holding onto their first-round pick.

With the Jazz’s loss they fell 0.5 games back of the Atlanta Hawks and now own the ninth-worst record in the NBA.

The Jazz remain three games ahead of the Brooklyn Nets for the eighth-worst record in the NBA.

Utah Jazz Next Broadcast

The Jazz will face the Timberwolves again on Monday at 7 pm MST in Salt Lake City. The game will be televised on KJZZ, streamed on Jazz+, and can be heard on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone.

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Jazz Rookies Struggle In Loss To Timberwolves