Jefferson leads Jazz to win over former Minnesota club
Salt Lake City, UT (Sports Network) - Al Jefferson matched a career-high with 40 points on 19-of-27 from the field to go along with 13 rebounds and a season-high six assists to lead the Utah Jazz to a crucial 107-100 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves at EnergySolutions Arena.
Jefferson's final two baskets of the evening were the difference for Utah, which trailed 98-97 with just under four minutes left in the game.
The Jazz are just one game behind the Los Angeles Lakers for the eighth spot in the Western Conference after the Lakers defeated the Golden State Warriors on Friday.
Mo Williams and Randy Foye netted 16 points apiece for Utah, which won despite turning the ball over 18 times while forcing just 10 Minnesota miscues.
J.J. Barea shot 9-of-10 from the foul line and paced Minnesota with 23 points off the bench. Ricky Rubio added 13 points.
Trailing 97-90 with 5:19 remaining, Minnesota gained some momentum after Barea drew a flagrant foul from Jazz big man Derrick Favors. Barea sunk the free throws, followed by consecutive Rubio triples.
Jefferson responded with two mid-range jumpers, the Jazz stepped up the intensity defensively, and Williams put the game away with four makes from the free throw stripe.