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.
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.Next Page »