Utah Jazz vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Pick & Prediction MARCH 18th 2024

The Minnesota Timberwolves concocted a successful recipe against the Utah Jazz on Saturday to win despite not having Karl-Anthony Towns or Rudy Gobert on the court.

Take a whole lot of Anthony Edwards, add a big heaping of Mike Conley and throw in a healthy side of Naz Reid.

To keep pace with Western Conference leaders Denver and Oklahoma City, Minnesota might have to rely on a version of that formula Monday night again in Salt Lake City in a quick rematch with the shorthanded Jazz.

Edwards scored 31 points, passing Kevin Love’s franchise record with 26 30-point games in a season, and Mike Conley tossed in a season-best 25 points in his return to Utah. Conley played in Utah with Rudy Gobert, who missed Saturday’s 119-100 win with a left rib sprain.

Naz Reid added 22 points with four 3-pointers, 12 rebounds and five assists to help the Timberwolves (46-21) distance themselves from the Jazz after a 48-48 halftime score.

“Somebody’s got to step up every night,” Edwards said. “It may always look like me, but tonight it was also Mike.”

Edwards played the second half after tweaking his right ankle when he stepped on the foot of Jazz forward Taylor Hendricks. He finished with five 3-pointers and made 12 of 20 field goals.

“Ant’s been special, honestly. He really has,” Conley said. “Just seeing him develop as the season has gone on, it’s been amazing. Like tonight, he made a bunch of plays that he wouldn’t make the first part of the year.”

Conley also made five 3-pointers.

“It’s a perfect storm, trying to fill in for guys and it’s given me a good rhythm,” he said. “I’ve been aggressive looking for my shots more, getting to the paint more and getting to the free-throw line.”

The Jazz (29-38) struggled in the second half while playing at home for the second consecutive night. They held on for a 124-122 win over Atlanta on Friday, but ran out of steam against Minnesota after a low-scoring first half.

Utah played again without Lauri Markkanen (quadriceps) and Jordan Clarkson (groin). The rebuilding Jazz rested Chris Dunn (Friday) and John Collins (Saturday), giving more opportunities to young players like Hendricks, Keyonte George and Brice Sensabaugh along with G-League call-ups Johnny Juzang and Micah Potter.

Collin Sexton led Utah with 22 points Saturday and George finished with 18 after three straight games of scoring 25 or more.

The Jazz, who’ve lost four of five outings and 12 of 15, dropped their third game to Minnesota this season. They have never been swept by the Timberwolves in a four-game season series.

“Plain and simple tonight, we did not pass the ball,” Jazz coach Will Hardy said. “There’s 30 possessions where you can point out where there’s multiple people open and we’re just forcing it. We’ve got to get back to the understanding of who we’re playing, understanding how they want to guard.”

–Field Level Media

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