The Utah Jazz held on to defeat the Minnesota Timberwolves 116-108 on Friday evening at the Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, in a heated contest that featured three ejections.
Leading the way for the Jazz was Rudy Gobert, as the 25-year-old center from Saint-Quentin, Aisne, France had a team-high 26 points while pulling down 16 rebounds and passing out an assist for a double-double for the game. Karl-Anthony Towns was ejected in the second quarter for arguing too much and opened up the middle of the paint for the 7'1 Gobert to dominate.
The Western Conference continues to be a log-jam, as the gap between the third-seeded Portland Trail Blazers and the 10th-seeded Jazz is now only four games. Portland, the San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder and the Timberwolves are all 12.5 games behind the Houston Rockets, 11/4 to win the NBA Championship, with the Trail Blazers and the Spurs tied at 36-26 and the Thunder and Minnesota percentage points behind having played two and four more games respectively.
The visitors are now on a two-game losing streak and have only won four of their past 10 contests. The Timberwolves continue to be without Jimmy Butler, who is dealing with a knee injury that should keep the former Chicago Bull out for anywhere from six to eight weeks.
Minnesota will need to figure out their offensive rotation without their star backcourt player or the Timberwolves may be looking from the outside in when playoff time comes.
Minnesota will look to regroup this week and will welcome the Boston Celtics into town on Thursday with the Golden State Warriors arriving next Sunday.
View all Basketball lines