Timberwolves blow out the Jazz for their second straight win
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For the second consecutive game the Minnesota Timberwolves have run an opponent off the court in front of an engaged and energized Target Center crowd.
No one reading this would have taken even 10,000:1 odds that the above sentance would have been possible would have been possible a month ago.
But on Friday night the Wolves beat the Utah Jazz 122-101 in front of an announced crowd of 18,534.
It was the first time since 2001 the Wolves won consecutive games by more than 20 points.
Kevin Love may have set the modern day double-double mark on Wednesday but that didn't stop the crowd from counting along every point and rebound feverish anticipation.
When Love corralled his 10th rebound with :31.9 seconds left in the third quarter the crowd rose to their feet to give their All-Star his due. On the ensuing possession, Love was raising his arms to egg on the crowd before some great ball movement lead to him hitting a three-pointer that sent them into a frenzy not heard inside the walls of Target Center since a different Kevin roamed there.
Love finished with 24 points and 12 rebounds in 29 minutes before sitting down to watch the end reserves finish it out for the second straight game and rest his knee.
"I actually need that, on a serious note, the past two games," Love said. "My knee was banged up from the Dallas game but it feels great. We will have a light practice tomorrow and we don't play till seven on Sunday so I am feeling great."
The Wolves jumped off to a fast start, hitting their first nine shots and ending the first quarter with a blistering hot 75 percent en route to a 19 point lead in the first half.
The Jazz cut the lead to two points in the third quarter before a 20-5 run put former Timberwolf Al Jefferson and the Jazz away for good.
'They cut it to two points and we went on a big run and got it to 18-20 and from there we never really looked back," Love said. "We played well together, finished quarters strong and that's what did it for us."
Jefferson's second game back at Target Center didn't go quite as well as his initial return. He finished with nine points after scoring 23 points in a winning effort Dec. 22 the first time back in the place he called home for three seasons.
"Darko did a tremendous job on containing Big Al because we know they want to punch it in to him," Love said. "He has been the top 5 lead scoring scorers since the All-Star break and Darko set the tone for us on the defensive end."
Just one game after the Wolves starting five finished with a combined four assists, the Wolves distributed the ball much more efficiently, finishing with 29 assists, including seven from Luke Ridnour.
"I liked how our guys, how they get in this mode of moving the basketball, they almost get excited about it," coach Kurt Rambis said. "We talk about how contagious it is and how easy we can make it for everybody."
The Wolves are now in the midst of only their third winning streak of the season and look to make it a season-high three games Sunday when they travel to California to take on the Golden State Warriors.