Karl-Anthony Towns scored 24 points with 12 rebounds and the Minnesota Timberwolves rallied from a 17-point deficit to stun the Utah Jazz, 101-96, on Saturday night in Salt Lake City.
Anthony Edwards contributed 23 points with nine boards, five steals and four assists, D’Angelo Russell scored 23 and Josh Okogie hit two clutch free throws with 6.2 seconds remaining to seal the upset for Minnesota (17-44).
Bojan Bogdanovic scored 30 points but the Jazz (44-16) just didn’t have enough offense without injured All-Star Donovan Mitchell (right sprained ankle) while losing for only the fourth time at home in 30 games this season.
Though Utah jumped out to a 40-26 lead and seemed to be en route to an expected win over a team already eliminated from the playoffs, the Jazz only scored 18, 16 and 22 points over the next three quarters. That Jazz, who only shot 40.2 percent, finished below the 100-point mark for the first time since Jan. 10.
The unexpected loss could be a devastating one for Utah as it tries to hold on to the No. 1 seed going into the playoffs. The Jazz are now only 1.5 games ahead of the Phoenix Suns (42-17) and two games up on the Los Angeles Clippers (43-19) with 12 games remaining on their schedule.
Utah found out earlier in the day that it will be forced to play at least another week without Mitchell, who’s been out since sustaining an ankle sprain against Indiana on April 16.
The Jazz saw their big lead evaporate in the second quarter when the T-Wolves went on a 10-0 run, which included a 3 by Russell and seven straight points by Edwards. Minnesota trimmed much of Utah’s one-time 17-point lead down to six, 58-52, at halftime.
Edwards started off the second half like he ended the first half, scoring five in a row, and the T-Wolves eventually took the lead at 62-61 on a Jaden McDaniels’ dunk. They stretched that advantage to nine near the end of the third quarter and led 92-81 after an Edwards bucket with seven minutes left.
Bogdanovic hit three 3s and Jordan Clarkson (15 points) added another during a push that helped Utah go up 93-92.
The T-Wolves didn’t back down, however, and turnovers plagued the Jazz down the stretch.
–Field Level Media