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Late 22-0 run propels Jazz past Timberwolves

Sportsnaut
Dec 31, 2021; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves center Naz Reid (11) fouls Utah Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic (44) in the first quarter at Vivint Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 31, 2021; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves center Naz Reid (11) fouls Utah Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic (44) in the first quarter at Vivint Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Donovan Mitchell returned from a two-game injury absence to score a season-high 39 points and the Utah Jazz went on a 22-0 fourth-quarter run in a 120-108 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday in Salt Lake City.

After missing time due to a sore back, Mitchell drained six 3-pointers, grabbed six rebounds and dished out five assists. He scored 14 points in the fourth quarter as the Jazz earned their sixth straight win and their 14th in 16 games.

Bojan Bogdanovic added 24 points and 12 rebounds, Jordan Clarkson netted 20 points and Rudy Gobert totaled 14 points, 16 rebounds and four blocked shots for Utah.

Minnesota was boosted by the return of several players for the NBA’s health and safety protocol, but the fourth-quarter offensive drought was too much to overcome.

Anthony Edwards scored 26 before fouling out and Malik Beasley contributed 22 points as the Timberwolves lost for the fourth time in five outings.

Patrick Beverley, who had 11 points and six assists, gave the Timberwolves a 92-91 lead on a 3-pointer with 10:47 remaining.

Things quickly turned in Utah’s favor after that.

Mitchell sparked a game-clinching, 22-0 run with consecutive inside baskets. After a Bogdanovic 3-pointer, Mitchell added a three-point play and three free throws after being fouled on a 3-point attempt.

Bogdanovic added another 3-point bomb in the avalanche, which finally ended when Edwards sank a technical free throw after Gobert was called for defensive three seconds. That freebie ended a five-minute drought for Minnesota, which went from being ahead by one to trailing by 21.

The Jazz fed off of an 11-2 run late in the first quarter to take a 29-20 lead.

Minnesota pulled within four in the second quarter but then endured a three-plus-minute stretch without a basket as Utah headed into the break with a 63-50 advantage.

Edwards fueled a 9-2 Minnesota surge in the third quarter with some nifty moves for two layups, helping the visitors pull back into the game. Jaden McDaniels gave the Timberwolves a brief lead, 79-78, with a bucket at the 3:16 mark of the third.

The Timberwolves took a one-point lead into the final quarter, but that advantage soon vanished.

–Field Level Media