SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – Donovan Mitchell scored 24 points, Jae Crowder had 18 and the Utah Jazz beat the travel-weary Minnesota Timberwolves 120-100 on Thursday night.
Derrick Favors had 17 points and 11 rebounds and Ruby Gobert contributed 10 points and 13 boards for the Jazz, who played Wednesday night but didn’t have nearly the travel adventures that beset Minnesota.
The Timberwolves didn’t arrive in Salt Lake City until Thursday morning due to a severe snowstorm in Denver that prevented the team from flying. The team showed up for its charter flight a little after 10 a.m. on Wednesday but was stranded at the airport for nearly 10 hours because of high winds before returning to the hotel.
Mitchell converted a scintillating drive and dunk on the baseline and then a tough lay-in from the right angle. The game was within single digits most of the way, but the Jazz led by 24 in the closing minutes as the Timberwolves ran out of steam.
Utah claimed the season series 3-1 and moved into a tie for sixth in the tight Western Conference.
Karl-Anthony Towns had 26 points, including 14 in the third quarter as the Timberwolves drew within 71-70. Utah finished the period on a scoring burst and led 91-81 entering the fourth on a rare dunk by Joe Ingles.
In his nine games since the All-Star break, Towns has averaged 34 points and 13.4 rebounds but looked frustrated at times against the length of Gobert and fouled out as he tried to bull through the Jazz center on a baseline drive with 4:13 remaining.
Andrew Wiggins scored 14 points but shot 6 of 17. Tyus Jones had 12 points and nine assists for the Wolves.
JAZZ OWNER SETS TONE
Jazz owner Gail Miller released a statement and spoke to the crowd prior to the game to address an encounter between Oklahoma City star Russell Westbrook and a fan Tuesday. Utah permanently banned the fan from all arena events, and Westbrook was fined $25,000 by the league.
Miller, who has owned the team for 34 years with her late husband Larry, implored the crowd to do better and said, “We are not a racist community.”
She implored fans to enjoy the competition and cheer the Jazz as loudly as ever but cautioned, “No one wins when respect goes away.”
Players from both teams listened intently and applauded the speech.
Timberwolves: Derrick Rose (elbow), Jeff Teague (foot), Luol Deng (Achilles) and Robert Covington (knee) all missed the game for Minnesota. … Towns caught Mitchell in the back of the head during a scramble for a rebound and received a Flagrant 1 foul. … The Timberwolves went 5 for 24 on 3-point attempts.
Jazz: Dante Exum, who missed 25 games with an ankle issue and only returned Monday, left the game after three minutes with knee soreness. … Utah outrebounded Minnesota 49-38. … The Jazz had 30 assists on their 44 field goals. “We moved the ball, that’s what it was,” Crowder said.
Timberwolves: Visit Houston on Sunday.
Jazz: Host Brooklyn on Saturday.
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