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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.
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“I think this is the most focused I’ve ever seen this team here,” Jefferson said. “We’re happy to get the win, but at the end of the day we know our job’s not done.”

Despite Minnesota being down two starters, including reigning Western Conference player of the week Nikola Pekovic, the Jazz had to fight — almost literally, as Derrick Favors and Greg Stiemsma were separated in the fourth quarter — for their latest must-win.

Jefferson had just 11 points at halftime, but shot 14 of 19 in the second half to match a scoring total he’d hit just twice in his career, and not since 2008.

“I’ve seen him in that zone a little bit before,” Jazz swingman Gordon Hayward said, “and it’s something special. He’s hard to stop there on that block.”

His six assists, one off a career high, included a pair of passes out of the double-team on the first two possessions of the fourth quarter, leading to 3-pointers.

If it was his last game in front of the Jazz home fans, it may have been his best, coach Tyrone Corbin said.

Story continues below

“Not just scores,” he said. “Some big passes to his teammates to relieve the pressure.”

Mo Williams and Randy Foye both finished with 16 points for the Jazz, including 5-of-7 shooting by Foye on 3-pointers.

J.J. Barea led Minnesota with 23 points, but perhaps played a greater role with his typically pesky play, drawing the flagrant foul on Favors that preceded his dust-up with Stiemsma and later in the fourth quarter an offensive foul on Mo Williams.

The Jazz trailed by as many as seven in the third quarter, which was Jefferson’s best. He finished with 19 points in the frame.

“He’s doing a great job of mixing his attempts at the basket,” Corbin said, “and sometimes he can go against two guys. But when he’s one-on-one on that block against most guys, we get some good stuff.”

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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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