Utah Rallies Late to Beat Minnesota Timberwolves in MLK Matinee
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Walker Kessler had career highs of 20 points and 21 rebounds, Jordan Clarkson added 21 points and the Utah Jazz rebounded from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves 126-125 on Monday beat.
Collin Sexton added 19 points off the bench for Utah, who scored seven players in double figures in their third win in four games.
Anthony Edwards scored 17 of his 29 points in the third quarter and D’Angelo Russell added 21 points for Minnesota, who was battling inside against Kessler, the big rookie center traded from the Timberwolves to the Jazz in July.
Kyle Anderson had 13 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for the Timberwolves, who lost to Rudy Gobert early in the game due to persistent groin pain.
Russell tied the game at 125 by 13.5 seconds. Clarkson got the winning lead with one of two free throws, and Jaden McDaniels’ 3-point attempt at the buzzer missed the target.
Minnesota acquired Kessler, the 2022 Naismith Defensive Player of the Year for Auburn, in a draft night trade. Two weeks later he was sent to Utah as the Timberwolves looked to Gobert for a difference maker.
On Monday, Kessler demonstrated his ability to influence opponents from within. He started his fourth straight game in place of Kelly Olynyk and is averaging 13.5 points, 13.25 rebounds and three blocks as a starter.
Gobert’s move to Minnesota hasn’t been a smooth one, but he’s started to become more effective defensively as Wolves put together their recent winning streak.
Edwards was the offensive equivalent of Gobert’s defensive performance.
After Utah took the lead midway through the third quarter, Edwards responded. Minnesota went on an 18-8 run to wrap up the third, with Edwards scoring nine.
On three straight possessions, Edwards went straight for Kessler at the hoop and got a pair of free throws and two lay-ins.
Gobert was ruled questionable with right groin pain before the game. He started against his former team but only played five minutes before leaving through injury. Gobert injured himself in the last game when he only played 13:25.
Jazz: Lauri Markkanen missed his second straight game with a left hip bruise. Olynyk missed his fourth straight game with a sprained left ankle. … Rudy Gay returned after missing a game with a left lower back spasm. Sexton was back after missing six of the previous games with a hamstring injury. … Kessler added four assists and two blocks.
Timberwolves: Edwards became the youngest player in NBA history to reach 500 3-point matches. … Minnesota had just six turnovers to Utah’s 18.
The Minnesota Timberwolves will take on the Nuggets in Denver on Wednesday night, with a 9:00 p.m. CT on Bally Sports North and ESPN.
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