Fatigue dooms the Utah Jazz against the Minnesota Timberwolves

On the 2nd night of a back-to-back, the Jazz got tired in the 2nd half.
Mar 16, 2024; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards (5) shoots
Mar 16, 2024; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards (5) shoots / Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

After a close win on Friday night against the Atlanta Hawks at home, the Utah Jazz were back in action Saturday night, with the Minnesota Timberwolves in town.

One of the stories of the night was the absence of Rudy Gobert, a former Jazzman, due to a rib injury. Another was the continued absence of Karl Anthony-Towns following his recent meniscus injury and surgery.

For the Jazz, Lauri Markkanen and Jordan Clarkson were joined by John Collins on the list of key Jazz players out for the night.

In the first half, the Jazz kept things close, tying the game after both the first and second quarters, owing in large part to Minnesota shooting horribly from the field (sub-40% at the half), while the Jazz were around 44% with 12 turnovers by the break.

The 3rd quarter saw the Wolves make two crucial runs when the game was close, keeping the Jazz out of reach. And a 5-minute scoring drought by the Jazz was a sign of fatigue carrying over from Friday night's game.

Former Jazzman Mike Conley spurred one of these runs with multiple 3-pointers and a layup to keep the Wolves on top, as the Jazz struggled to defend and close out on the perimeter.

In the 4th, the Jazz were looking ragged and had another scoring drought of over 3 minutes, which was mercifully ended by a Collin Sexton at the 8:08 mark, pulling the Jazz within 9 points at 90-81, before Minnesota responded with an and-1 by Naz Reid, to go back up 12.

By the end, Minnesota pulled out a 19-point win, 119-100. They left the young Jazz with a valuable lesson - don't let up on the gas when a game is close.

Anthony Edwards led Minnesota with 31 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists. Mike Conley added 25, and Naz Reid, starting for Rudy Gobert, had 22 points and 12 rebounds.

Collins Sexton led the Jazz with 22 points and 10 assists, and Keyonte George chipped in 18 points. Omer Yurtseven had 14 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 blocked shots and was one of the few Jazz players with a positive plus-minus on the night.

The Jazz (29-38) face off with the Wolves (46-21) again on Monday night for a rematch, and remain 9th in the projected draft lottery order and on track to keep their 1st round pick this summer.

Next. The Jazz tanking isn't making their star happy. Lauri's not happy with the Jazz tanking again. dark