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Utah Jazz: Al Jefferson leads in win over Minnesota
Al Jefferson
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz power forward Paul Millsap (24) is introduced before the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday April 12, 2013.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson (25) is introduced before the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday April 12, 2013.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin before the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday April 12, 2013.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson (25) argues a call during the first half of the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday April 12, 2013. Minnesota Timberwolves are winning the game 54-53 at halftime.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson (25) shoots past Minnesota Timberwolves center Greg Stiemsma (34) during the first half of the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday April 12, 2013. Minnesota Timberwolves are winning the game 54-53 at halftime.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz shooting guard Gordon Hayward (20) and Utah Jazz point guard Mo Williams (5) celebrate after Hayward hit a three pointer during the first half of the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday April 12, 2013. Minnesota Timberwolves are winning the game 54-53 at halftime.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz point guard Mo Williams (5) shoots past Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Derrick Williams (7) and Minnesota Timberwolves center Greg Stiemsma (34) during the first half of the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday April 12, 2013. Minnesota Timberwolves are winning the game 54-53 at halftime.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz power forward Paul Millsap (24) dunks past Minnesota Timberwolves point guard J.J. Barea (11) and Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Dante Cunningham (33) during the first half of the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday April 12, 2013. Minnesota Timberwolves are winning the game 54-53 at halftime.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Gordon Hayward and the Jazz are in agreement: it's time for him to step up and take a leadership role on the team going forward.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz power forward Paul Millsap (24) reacts to a call during the first half of the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday April 12, 2013. Minnesota Timberwolves are winning the game 54-53 at halftime.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz shooting guard Gordon Hayward (20) celebrates after hitting a three pointer during the first half of the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday April 12, 2013. Minnesota Timberwolves are winning the game 54-53 at halftime.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Luke Ridnour (13) and Utah Jazz point guard Randy Foye (8) go for the ball during the first half of the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday April 12, 2013. Minnesota Timberwolves are winning the game 54-53 at halftime.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin watches as Utah Jazz point guard Mo Williams (5) and Utah Jazz point guard Alec Burks (10) walk off of the court during the first half of the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday April 12, 2013. Minnesota Timberwolves are winning the game 54-53 at halftime.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz point guard Alec Burks (10) Utah Jazz power forward Paul Millsap (24) and Utah Jazz point guard Jamaal Tinsley (6) walk off of the court during the first half of the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday April 12, 2013. Minnesota Timberwolves are winning the game 54-53 at halftime.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz shooting guard Gordon Hayward (20) passes to Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson (25) past Minnesota Timberwolves center Greg Stiemsma (34) and Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Derrick Williams (7) during the first half of the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday April 12, 2013. Minnesota Timberwolves are winning the game 54-53 at halftime.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson (25) dunks over Minnesota Timberwolves center Greg Stiemsma (34) during the first half of the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday April 12, 2013. Minnesota Timberwolves are winning the game 54-53 at halftime.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz shooting guard Gordon Hayward (20) runs around Minnesota Timberwolves small forward Andrei Kirilenko (47) during the first half of the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday April 12, 2013. Minnesota Timberwolves are winning the game 54-53 at halftime.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson (25) dunks over Minnesota Timberwolves center Greg Stiemsma (34) during the first half of the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday April 12, 2013. Minnesota Timberwolves are winning the game 54-53 at halftime.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz power forward Derrick Favors (15) shoots past Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Chris Johnson (20) during the first half of the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday April 12, 2013. Minnesota Timberwolves are winning the game 54-53 at halftime.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz power forward Derrick Favors (15) should play a major role for the team next season.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz point guard Alec Burks (10) shoots past Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Dante Cunningham (33) during the first half of the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday April 12, 2013. Minnesota Timberwolves are winning the game 54-53 at halftime.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Chris Johnson (20) dunks the ball during the first half of the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday April 12, 2013. Minnesota Timberwolves are winning the game 54-53 at halftime.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson (25) shoots over Minnesota Timberwolves center Greg Stiemsma (34) during the first half of the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday April 12, 2013. Minnesota Timberwolves are winning the game 54-53 at halftime.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Minnesota Timberwolves small forward Andrei Kirilenko (47) during the first half of the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday April 12, 2013. Minnesota Timberwolves are winning the game 54-53 at halftime.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz power forward Derrick Favors (15) shoots past Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Chris Johnson (20) during the first half of the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday April 12, 2013. Minnesota Timberwolves are winning the game 54-53 at halftime.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin during the first half of the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday April 12, 2013. Minnesota Timberwolves are winning the game 54-53 at halftime.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin during the first half of the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday April 12, 2013. Minnesota Timberwolves are winning the game 54-53 at halftime.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Gail Miller and Kim R. Wilson watch during the first half of the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday April 12, 2013. Minnesota Timberwolves are winning the game 54-53 at halftime.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson (25) celebrates after scoring during the second half of the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday April 12, 2013. The Jazz won the game 107-100.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson (25) celebrates after scoring during the second half of the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday April 12, 2013. The Jazz won the game 107-100.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson (25) celebrates after scoring during the second half of the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday April 12, 2013. The Jazz won the game 107-100.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson (25) celebrates after scoring during the second half of the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday April 12, 2013. The Jazz won the game 107-100.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz point guard Mo Williams (5) and Utah Jazz shooting guard Gordon Hayward (20) watch from the bench during the second half of the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday April 12, 2013. The Jazz won the game 107-100.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson (25) celebrates after scoring during the second half of the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday April 12, 2013. The Jazz won the game 107-100.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz point guard Mo Williams (5) guards Minnesota Timberwolves point guard J.J. Barea (11) during the second half of the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday April 12, 2013. The Jazz won the game 107-100.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz point guard Mo Williams (5) during the second half of the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday April 12, 2013. The Jazz won the game 107-100.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz point guard Alec Burks (10) guards Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Alexey Shved (1) during the second half of the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday April 12, 2013. The Jazz won the game 107-100.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Minnesota Timberwolves point guard J.J. Barea (11) remains on the ground after being fouled by Utah Jazz power forward Derrick Favors (15) during the second half of the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday April 12, 2013. The Jazz won the game 107-100.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Minnesota Timberwolves point guard J.J. Barea (11) during the second half of the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday April 12, 2013. The Jazz won the game 107-100.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz power forward Derrick Favors (15) is held back by Utah Jazz point guard Alec Burks (10) Utah Jazz point guard Randy Foye (8) and Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson (25) during the second half of the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday April 12, 2013. The Jazz won the game 107-100.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz power forward Derrick Favors (15) is held back by Utah Jazz point guard Alec Burks (10) Utah Jazz point guard Randy Foye (8) and Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson (25) during the second half of the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday April 12, 2013. The Jazz won the game 107-100.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz power forward Derrick Favors (15) is held back by Utah Jazz point guard Alec Burks (10) Utah Jazz point guard Randy Foye (8) and Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson (25) during the second half of the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday April 12, 2013. The Jazz won the game 107-100.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz power forward Derrick Favors (15) walks off of the court during the second half of the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday April 12, 2013. The Jazz won the game 107-100.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Minnesota Timberwolves point guard J.J. Barea (11) shoots a free throw during the second half of the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday April 12, 2013. The Jazz won the game 107-100.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin during the second half of the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday April 12, 2013. The Jazz won the game 107-100.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin during the second half of the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday April 12, 2013. The Jazz won the game 107-100.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz power forward Marvin Williams (2) throws mini basketballs into the crowd after the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday April 12, 2013. The Jazz won the game 107-100.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin after the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday April 12, 2013. The Jazz won the game 107-100.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin after the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday April 12, 2013. The Jazz won the game 107-100.
(Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz point guard Alec Burks (10) Utah Jazz power forward Paul Millsap (24) and Utah Jazz point guard Jamaal Tinsley (6) walk off of the court during the first half of the game at EnergySolutions Arena Friday April 12, 2013. Minnesota Timberwolves are winning the game 54-53 at halftime.

Al Jefferson huffed, and he puffed, and he brought the house down.

Your move, Wolves.

Jefferson’s last shot in a 40-point effort dropped with less than a minute left, just the last effort to will the Jazz to a 107-100 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. It not only kept them in the playoff race, but also catapulted them back into playoff position — for a couple of hours.

That was what drove Jefferson to an effort in which he tied his career high with 40 points and added 13 rebounds and six assists.

“I’ve been in that type of zone many times before,” said Jefferson. “But tonight it was all about the playoffs.”

So it will be on Monday, in a rematch with the T-wolves in Minneapolis. Another Jazz win likely sets up a make-or-break final day of the regular season.

Story continues below

The Jazz remain one game behind the Los Angeles Lakers, after another come-from-behind win in Los Angeles, this one over the Golden State Warriors. Where Kobe Bryant has carried the Lakers late in the season, the Jazz, finally, on Friday had their own hero.

If the playoffs remain out of reach for the Jazz, Friday may have marked the last time the center appeared at EnergySolutions Arena as a member of the Jazz after being traded from the Timberwolves in 2010. With young post players waiting in the wings for the Jazz, and unknown deep pockets potentially eager to chase Jefferson, a free-agent-to-be, this win could have marked the final time he danced his veritable basketball ballet.

For a capstone, he unleashed a devastating flurry of drop steps and spins and little hook shots and spot-up jumpers. But his last basket, with 39.3 seconds left in the game, was less pristine. He dribbled the ball and lost it. The shot clock ticked. He recovered the rock. He maybe double-dribbled; it went uncalled. He turned and willed his signature one-handed push shot over the front of the rim and into the basket.

A night to remember, no? No, Jefferson has other plans.

“I say forget it,” he said. “Start from scratch. Forget it, be ready to play Monday.”

Even on fan appreciation night, there was little celebration. The Jazz remained on the court to throw out plastic balls to the 19,609 in attendance, then retreated to a locker room, where they remained as serious as during their fourth-quarter effort.

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Jefferson leads Utah to a narrow win as Jazz stay put in Western Conference standings.

At a glance

Highlights

O Al Jefferson ties a career high with 40 points and also grabs 13 boards.

» Jazz shoot 58.3 percent from the field.

LAKERS WIN, KOBE INJURED » The L.A. Lakers defeat Golden State 118-116 on Friday to stay one game ahead of the Jazz for eighth place in the Western Conference. But the win comes at a cost as Kobe Bryant tears a tendon and is likely done for the season. > D4

Playoffs race

Western Conference

W L GB

5. Memphis 54 25 41/2

6. Golden State 45 35 13

7. Houston 44 35 141/2

8. L.A. Lakers 43 37 16

9. Utah 42 38 17

Top eight teams advance to the postseason

Jazz 107, Timberwolves 100

FG FT Reb

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

Kirilenko 23:33 3-6 2-2 1-3 3 2 8

DWillms 22:20 4-9 2-2 3-6 0 1 11

Stimsma 40:34 4-9 2-2 1-7 1 4 10

Rubio 25:29 4-7 3-3 0-2 3 4 13

Ridnour 23:51 4-7 2-2 0-1 4 1 10

Barea 27:17 6-14 9-10 0-4 3 2 23

Budnger 24:41 5-11 0-0 1-3 0 1 12

Shved 19:23 1-5 0-0 0-0 5 1 3

Cnnghm 25:40 4-9 0-0 3-4 2 0 8

Johnson 7:12 1-1 0-0 0-1 0 2 2

Totals 240:00 36-78 20-21 9-31 21 18 100

Percentages: FG .462, FT .952. 3-Point Goals: 8-22, .364 (Rubio 2-3, Budinger 2-5, Barea 2-6, D.Williams 1-2, Shved 1-3, Cunningham 0-1, Kirilenko 0-1, Ridnour 0-1). Team Rebounds: 4. Team Turnovers: 11 (9 PTS). Blocked Shots: 3 (Stiemsma 2, Johnson). Turnovers: 10 (Ridnour 4, Barea 2, Rubio 2, Stiemsma, D.Williams). Steals: 10 (Stiemsma 3, Ridnour 2, Rubio 2, Budinger, Cunningham, Shved). Technical Fouls: Defensive three second, 1:15 third.

FG FT Reb

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

Hayward 33:02 1-5 2-2 0-2 5 0 5

Millsap 23:49 5-7 0-2 0-3 1 3 10

Jeffersn 40:37 19-27 2-2 3-13 6 1 40

M Wllms 30:39 5-12 6-6 0-1 5 5 16

Foye 37:46 5-8 1-1 0-2 1 2 16

Favors 31:19 2-6 2-2 2-8 0 4 6

Burks 19:13 3-4 0-0 1-4 0 2 7

MaWllms 16:37 1-2 2-2 0-3 2 1 4

Tinsley 6:59 1-1 0-0 0-0 3 1 3

Totals 240:00 42-72 15-17 6-36 23 19 107

Percentages: FG .583, FT .882. 3-Point Goals: 8-13, .615 (Foye 5-7, Burks 1-1, Tinsley 1-1, Hayward 1-2, M. Williams 0-2). Team Rebounds: 4. Team Turnovers: 18 (23 PTS). Blocked Shots: 4 (Favors 2, Millsap 2). Turnovers: 18 (Favors 5, Jefferson 5, Millsap 3, M. Williams 2, Foye, Hayward, Ma.Williams). Steals: 8 (Favors 3, Foye 2, Hayward 2, M. Williams). Technical Fouls: None. Flagrant Fouls: Favors, 4:49 fourth.

Minnesota 22 32 27 19 — 100

Utah 30 23 29 25 — 107

Attendance » 19,609

Time » 2:10.

Officials » Ron Garretson, Derrick Collins, Derek Richardson.

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