NBA Game Summary - Minnesota at Utah
(Wednesday, April 2nd)
Final Score: Utah 117, Minnesota 100
Salt Lake City, UT (Sports Network) - Mehmet Okur scored 22 points as the Utah Jazz used a huge third quarter run to surge past the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves, 117-100, at EnergySolutions Arena to reach the 50-win plateau for the second straight season.
Deron Williams had 19 points and 14 assists for the Jazz, who picked up their fifth win in six games. Andrei Kirilenko scored 13, Carlos Boozer added 12 points and seven boards and Kyle Korver scored 11, including 3-for-3 from three-point range.
The win pushed Utah's lead in the Northwest Division to 3 1/2 games over idle Denver, as the Jazz shot a sizzling 54.5 percent (12-of-22) from beyond the arc to run away with the win.
"Guys have been shooting the ball well," Korver said. "When they're going in it's a good thing, and coach doesn't say anything. So we'll try to keep on making them."
Marko Jaric posted 18 points and eight assists to pace the Timberwolves, who have dropped four of their last five. Rashad McCants added 17 points off the bench, while Randy Foye contributed 15 points and six assists.
After a tight first half, Okur stormed out of the gate in the second half, scoring 10 of Utah's first 12 points, including consecutive threes that expanded the gap to 65-56 less than three minutes in.
"We got out and got after them a little bit," said Jazz coach Jerry Sloan. "They probably got a little tired, but you still got to try to figure out some way to win the game."
Utah's three-point barrage continued, as Williams and Okur connected from beyond the arc on back-to-back possessions to extend the lead to 73-61. The three from Okur set off a 15-4 run, capped by a three-point play from Williams that gave the Jazz a 20-point margin, 85-65, with 2 1/2 minutes left in the third.
"They give Memo shots and Memo is going to knock them down," Boozer said. "That's the great thing about him; he spreads the floor for us. It's kind of like pick your poison."
Okur finished with 13 points in the stanza, and the Jazz opened the final 12 minutes with a commanding 91-72 advantage.
The Jazz opened the fourth quarter with five straight points from Matt Harpring and C.J. Miles as their lead ballooned to 24, and Utah relied on its bench down the stretch to cement the blowout win.
The teams played a back-and-forth opening half, but the Jazz led 29-27 after one quarter and held on to own a 53-50 edge at halftime.
The only loss for Utah in their current six-game stretch was Sunday in Minnesota. That win was also Minnesota's only victory in its last five contests...The Jazz shot a torrid 59.5 percent from the field and held the T'Wolves to 47.3 percent shooting...Utah improved to 34-4 on their home court this season, while Minnesota feel to a dismal 5-31 on the road...The teams managed a 2-2 split in the season series, which each team taking both games on their home floor.
04/03 00:27:36 ET