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Jazz pull away in 4th quarter, beat Timberwolves 120-108

Mitchell returns from two-game absence to score season-high 39 points to lead Utah.

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Jaden McDaniels (3) shoots over Utah Jazz forwards Bojan Bogdanovic (44) and Rudy Gay (8) defend during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 31, 2021, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Adam Fondren)

Donovan Mitchell scored a season-high 39 points and the Utah Jazz beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 120-108 on Friday night at Vivint Arena.

Mitchell added six rebounds and five assists in his return from a two-game absence due to a back strain. Bojan Bogdanovic added 24 points and 12 rebounds, Jordan Clarkson chipped in 20 points and Rudy Gobert added 14 points, 16 rebounds, and four blocks.

Utah went 35 of 41 from the free-throw line.

Minnesota’s Anthony Edwards scored 26 points in his return after a six-game absence due to health and safety protocols. Malik Beasley added 22 points for the Timberwolves.

After Patrick Beverley hit a go-ahead 3-pointer a minute into the fourth quarter, the Jazz scored 22 unanswered points to pull away from the Timberwolves. Mitchell ignited the run with back-to-back baskets and scored 12 points during the outburst. Gobert and Mitchell finished it off with back-to-back baskets that gave Utah a 113-92 lead with 5:51 left.

Utah built a 13-point halftime lead, going up 63-50, by knocking down 3-pointers and repeatedly getting to the free throw line.

The Jazz made seven outside baskets — with four coming from Mitchell — and shot 54% from the perimeter before halftime. Utah also shot 22 of 26 on free throws in the first half. Bogdanovic and Gobert each had eight free throw attempts, equaling Minnesota’s total free throw attempts in the first two quarters.

Minnesota rallied in the third quarter and erased Utah’s lead. Jaden McDaniels capped a 12-2 run with a go-ahead jumper that gave the Timberwolves a 79-78 edge. Edwards and Naz Reid each scored a pair of baskets to fuel the spurt.

TIP-INS

Timberwolves: Jordan McLaughlin had a season-high three steals, all in the first quarter. ... Jaylen Nowell has totaled 11 assists in his last two games. ... Edwards and Nowell fouled out in the fourth quarter.

Jazz: Joe Ingles (lower back strain), Mike Conley (rest), and Eric Paschall (personal reasons) were sidelined for Utah. ... Trent Forrest made his first career start. Forrest finished with four points, three rebounds, and three assists. ... Hassan Whiteside did not return after halftime because of concussion-like symptoms. Clarkson inadvertently struck Whiteside across the face during a collision in the second quarter.

UP NEXT

Minnesota: At Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday.

Utah: Host Golden State Warriors on Saturday.

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