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Utah Jazz: Love lifts Minnesota to 121-104 win

Published February 23, 2014 11:02 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Jazz probably thought the miserable days of November were ancient history.

Not so.

In a game reminiscent of many it played during a miserable 1-14 start this season, Utah struggled in every way Saturday night and Minnesota gladly took advantage of the dreary performance.

Kevin Love finished with 37 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists — the first triple-double of his career — and the Timberwolves rolled to an easy 121-104 victory at EnergySolutions Arena.

It was the Jazz's third straight loss since the All-Star break, but it was easily their worst effort after two near-misses.

"It's frustrating to lose," said coach Tyrone Corbin. "The way we lost tonight wasn't pleasing at all. I thought we had some good minutes in the Brooklyn game and I thought we had some good minutes [Friday] night in Portland. But there wasn't a lot of positives tonight and that's the disheartening thing about it."

Utah played well before the break, winning three in row.

According to Marvin Williams, the up-and-down nature of the Jazz's play makes a Minnesota loss extra frustrating.

"We've been doing it all year," he said. " … Win two, lose two. Win three, lose three. But you've got to go to work every day. When we get on a winning streak, I think we do that. When we get on a losing streak, sometimes I don't think we play as hard as we can."

Enes Kanter tied his career-high with 25 points to lead the Jazz, but it wasn't nearly enough to offset their lack of defense.

Minnesota's 121 points were the second-highest total by an opponent this season — the most since Dec. 6, when Atlanta dropped 130 on Utah.

"We just didn't play a great game tonight," Corbin said. "We talked about some things before the game — taking away from of the things they're really good at. … But give them credit. They played the better game."

The Jazz played without injured center Derrick Favors, who missed his third straight game because of a sprained hip. But they stayed with the Timberwolves until late in the first half.

The game was tied, 41-41, before Minnesota exploded for 18 points in the final 3:45 of the second quarter.

Chase Budinger and Robbie Hummel hit three-pointers while Ricky Rubio and Corey Brewer converted three-point plays. The Timberwolves closed on an 18-8 run that put them in control.

"They were just run-out plays and, with this team, you can't afford to give them easy baskets because they feed of that," Corbin said.

Love took over early in the third quarter.

He made a pair of free throws before knocking down consecutive three-point shots as Minnesota built a 75-55 lead.

After Utah got as close as 79-64, Love buried two more three-pointers to push the Timberwolves' lead back to 85-64.

"He made a couple of tough ones," Corbin said. " … That's what great players do in this league. They find a way to get it done, regardless of what the defense is doing to them."

Beyond Kanter, the Jazz didn't get much from anyone.

Trey Burke finished with 16 points and six assists, but he missed seven of his nine three-point attempts.

Gordon Hayward ended up with five points on 2-for-10 shooting. He didn't have an assist or rebound in 24 minutes.

"We just have to keep plugging," Corbin said. " … We've got a lot of basketball left to play. We can't feel sorry for ourselves. We've got to come back and try to get another winning streak going." —

See more inside

• After coming close multiple times, Minnesota All-Star Kevin Love notches his first career triple-double Saturday. > C4

• The Jazz play without center Derrick Favors for the 7th time in 13 games Saturday night. > C4