Jazz rally in the fourth beats TimberwolvesDec 23, 2010 - 5:05 AM Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Deron Williams scored 25 points, Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson had 23 apiece and the Utah Jazz overcame a 15-point deficit in the final 12:16 for a 112-107 victory over Minnesota.
Utah head coach Jerry Sloan moved past Pat Riley and into third place alone on the all-time NBA wins list with No. 1,211.
His Jazz did it in dramatic fashion.
In addition to facing a 15-point deficit late in the third quarter, they also overcame a seven-point hole in the final three minutes by outscoring the Timberwolves 18-6.
Millsap gave Utah the lead for good with 33.5 seconds left on a driving layup he turned into a three-point play when Minnesota's Martell Webster was called for a blocking foul.
It was one in a slew of fouls committed by the Timberwolves in the final minutes that reversed the momentum in Utah's favor and gave Sloan his historic win.
The coach was quick to deflect praise afterward.
"It's not about me," Sloan said. "It's more about what we try to do as a staff."
Andrei Kirilenko had 16 points and Millsap added a team-high 11 rebounds for the Jazz, who have won four of their last five to improve to 13-4 in their last 17 games.
The Timberwolves got huge games from their starting forwards -- 25 points and 19 rebounds from Kevin Love and 24 points and 10 rebounds from Michael Beasley -- but still lost for the seventh game in a row.
Minnesota, which was coming off an 0-6 road trip, fell to just 2-15 in its last 17 games. Webster, who scored 16 points in 25 minutes off the bench, said the losing has become "tedious."
"It's easy to quit. A lot of teams that have been in this situation have quit. That's the easy thing to do," he said. "So it really shows you character that guys continue to do the things they did when we're winning."
Indeed, it looked like a rare victory was in order for the Timberwolves when Beasley completed a three-point play to make it 83-68 with 16.7 seconds left in the third quarter.
Minnesota carried an 83-71 lead into the fourth and still controlled the game with 3:06 remaining when Luke Ridnour hit a jumper for a seven-point lead.
But Wesley Johnson committed an ill-advised foul on a driving Williams for a three-point play that made it 101-97 and changed the momentum of the game.
The Jazz scored seven points in a row, capped by Millsap's tough reverse layup and three-point play to tie the game at 101-101. The teams traded baskets until Webster stepped in front of a driving Millsap and fouled the Utah forward, giving him another foul shot for a 108-107 Jazz lead.
Gordon Hayward was fouled on a dunk and converted yet another three-point play for Utah to make it 111-107 with 13 seconds left -- enough of a cushion against the struggling Timberwolves.
"I didn't know if we were going to have any life at all," said Sloan. "Fortunately we scored some down the stretch to win the game."
The Timberwolves led by as many as 11 in the first half for a 29-20 advantage heading into the second. They extended their lead to 56-45 at halftime behind Love's 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Sloan is 121 victories behind Lenny Wilkens for second place on the wins list. Don Nelson is the all-time leader at 1,335 victories...Utah went 3-1 on its four-game road trip.
- UTAH: 112
Dec 22 10:39 PM
- UTAH: 71
End of 3rd
Dec 22 9:56 PM
- UTAH: 45
Dec 22 9:11 PM
- UTAH: 20
End of 1st
Dec 22 8:36 PM
- UTAH: 0
1st Quarter - 15:00
Dec 22 8:11 PM
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