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Utah Jazz outlast Timberwolves, head into break with win
Utah Jazz's Al Jefferson, left, gets tangled up with Minnesota Timberwolves' Nikola Pekovic, of Montenegro, as he tries to reach the ball in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Minnesota Timberwolves' Ricky Rubio (9), of Spain, shoots a layup as Utah Jazz's Paul Millsap defends in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Utah Jazz's Paul Millsap, right, shoots over Minnesota Timberwolves' Derrick Williams in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013 in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Minnesota Timberwolves' Nikola Pekovic of Montenegro, right, has the ball knocked away by Utah Jazz's Al Jefferson (25) in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013 in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Utah Jazz's Al Jefferson (25) grabs a rebound against Minnesota Timberwolves' Derrick Williams in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Minnesota Timberwolves' Derrick Williams (7) shoots as Utah Jazz's Paul Millsap defends in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Utah Jazz's Paul Millsap, left, breaks up a scoring attempt by Minnesota Timberwolves' Nikola Pekovic, of Montenegro, as Jazz's Al Jefferson, right, looks for the ball in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, in Minneapolis. Millsap led his team with 21 points followed by Jefferson with 20 points and 11 rebounds as the Jazz won 97-93. Pekovic scored 19 points and had 13 rebounds for the Timberwolves. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Utah Jazz's Paul Millsap, left, and Al Jefferson, right, double-team Minnesota Timberwolves' Derrick Williams as he attempts a shot in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, in Minneapolis. Millsap led his team with 21 points followed by Jefferson with 20 points and 11 rebounds as the Jazz won 97-93. Williams led the Timberwolves with 24 points and 16 rebounds. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Minnesota Timberwolves' Ricky Rubio, right, of Spain, tries to reach the ball controlled by Utah Jazz's Earl Watson in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, in Minneapolis. The Jazz won 97-93. Rubio scored 18 points and had 10 assists. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Minnesota Timberwolves' Nikola Pekovic, right, of Montenegro, shoots a layup as Utah Jazz's Al Jefferson defends in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, in Minneapolis. The Jazz won 97-93. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Minneapolis • A not-so-funny thing happened to the Jazz on their way to the All-Star break.

Utah nearly squandered a 13-point lead in the final three minutes against Minnesota on Wednesday night at the Target Center.

Fortunately for the Jazz, they held on down the stretch and defeated the Timberwolves, 97-93.

Paul Millsap scored 21 points and Al Jefferson added 20 as the Jazz headed on the annual midseason mini-vacation with thoughts of a two-game winning streak — not a mind-boggling loss — dancing in their heads.

“It’s a win,” said coach Tyrone Corbin. “It’s a great win for us. The guys toughed it out. ... We hung in there and, as a result, we got a chance to win the ball game.”

The Jazz overcame a brutal start — they missed 20 of their first 25 shots — and seemed to take control midway through the fourth quarter.

Story continues below

Alec Burks’ three-point play gave Utah an 84-69 with 6:51 remaining.

After Minnesota rallied within seven, the Jazz pulled away again and took a 90-77 lead on Burks’ dunk with 2:55 left.

This time, the Timberwolves’ comeback got them considerably closer.

It was 93-88 with 19.3 seconds to play when Millsap was called for fouling Derrick Williams on a 3-point shot.

“I don’t think I touched him,” Millsap said. “But he made it to the line, he made three free throws and made the game close.”

After a timeout, Corbin subbed Randy Foye for Burks.

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Utah almost loses sizeable lead but goes into break with a win.

At a glance

Jazz 97, Wolves 93

O The Jazz head into the All-Star break after a victory at Minnesota.

» Paul Millsap scores 21 points, and Al Jefferson adds 20.

» The Jazz own three 3 minutes left.

Jazz 97, Timberwolves 93

FG FT Reb

Utah Min M-A M-A O-T A PF Pts

MaWllms 15:48 0-1 0-0 0-7 0 1 0

Millsap 35:35 7-15 7-11 4-8 2 4 21

Jefferson 34:03 9-18 2-3 1-11 1 1 20

Tinsley 15:36 1-2 0-0 0-2 2 0 3

Foye 26:47 2-11 5-5 0-0 2 2 10

Favors 20:03 3-6 1-2 2-6 1 5 7

Watson 23:50 2-7 2-2 1-5 5 1 6

Burks 29:47 4-9 1-1 2-6 7 4 9

Carroll 24:34 5-9 1-1 2-5 0 2 11

Kanter 13:57 5-9 0-0 1-3 0 2 10

Totals 240:00 38-87 19-25 13-53 20 22 97

Percentages: FG .437, FT .760. 3-Point Goals: 2-11, .182 (Tinsley 1-1, Foye 1-5, Burks 0-1, Millsap 0-1, Watson 0-1, Carroll 0-2). Team Rebounds: 8. Team Turnovers: 14 (12 PTS). Blocked Shots: 9 (Favors 2, Millsap 2, Carroll, Foye, Jefferson, Kanter, Ma.Williams). Turnovers: 14 (Watson 4, Burks 3, Kanter 2, Millsap 2, Foye, Jefferson, Tinsley). Steals: 7 (Jefferson 3, Burks 2, Foye, Kanter). Technical Fouls: None.

FG FT Reb

Minn. Min M-A M-A O-T A PF Pts

Gelabale 24:04 1-3 0-0 0-2 0 2 2

DWillms 36:34 7-17 8-11 4-16 0 3 24

Pekovic 39:42 7-16 5-8 7-13 0 2 19

Rubio 40:16 3-13 12-13 2-9 10 1 18

Ridnour 37:20 7-15 2-2 1-3 2 6 18

Shved 10:32 0-4 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Barea 23:48 2-10 1-2 0-1 6 0 6

Stiemsma 7:58 0-1 0-0 0-3 0 1 0

Cninghm 19:46 2-6 2-2 0-2 0 4 6

Johnson 0:01 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Totals 240:00 29-85 30-38 14-49 18 19 93

Percentages: FG .341, FT .789. 3-Point Goals: 5-22, .227 (D.Williams 2-5, Ridnour 2-6, Barea 1-5, Shved 0-1, Gelabale 0-2, Rubio 0-3). Team Rebounds: 9. Team Turnovers: 10 (8 PTS). Blocked Shots: 3 (Pekovic, Rubio, D.Williams). Turnovers: 10 (Barea 2, Rubio 2, Cunningham, Gelabale, Pekovic, Ridnour, Shved, D.Williams). Steals: 8 (Rubio 4, Cunningham 2, Barea, Pekovic). Technical Fouls: Stiemsma, 0:32.7 second.

Utah 10 32 26 29 — 97

Minnesota 17 23 23 30 — 93

Attendance » 13,117

Time » 2:13.

Officials » Bennett Salvatore, Eric Dalen, Ed Malloy.

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