Donovan Mitchell scored 24 points and had a career-high 11 assists and the Utah Jazz outlasted the short-handed Minnesota Timberwolves 106-102 on Friday night.
Rudy Gobert, who was a game-time decision with a sore hamstring, had 18 points and 16 rebounds, and Kyle Korver scored 16 for the Jazz, who have won eight of their last nine.
Karl-Anthony Towns had 33 points and 10 rebounds and Andrew Wiggins scored 21 points on 8-of-26 shooting for Minnesota, which saw its three-game winning streak snapped on the second game of a back-to-back.
Anthony Tolliver hit his second 3 of the final four minutes to get the Timberwolves within one at 103-102, but Luol Deng missed an open 3 in the corner for a chance to give Minnesota its first lead since the first quarter.
Joe Ingles, who had 12 points, snatched the rebound and hit two free throws. On the next possession, Gobert got a piece of Tolliver’s 3-point attempt. Mitchell rebounded and hit one free throw to clinch the win.
Mitchell, who has scored at least 24 points in 11 consecutive games, was forced to play the point for six games while all three Jazz point guards were injured. Even though Rubio has returned, Mitchell has continued his playmaking ways and marked the first double-double of his career.
In the second quarter, Mitchell – the son of former minor league pitcher Donovan Sr., the New York Mets’ director of player relations – threw a cross-court fastball with one hand to Georges Niang for a 3.
In the third quarter, the Timberwolves took another hit when Taj Gibson went after the officials and got two technicals and had to be restrained by his teammates after a foul call as Ingles went to the basket.
The Jazz then shot five free throws, three by Mitchell and two by Ingles. With 4:46 left in the third, Mitchell hit two more foul shots to cap the 13-0 run and the Jazz led 75-54.
The Jazz led by as many as 23 in the third period, but the Timberwolves scored the first 13 points of the fourth quarter. When Towns followed his own missed jumper with a layup, the Timberwolves had closed within eight at 90-82.
Utah barely survived while shooting 5 of 28 in the fourth quarter and was saved by some hustle plays and defensive stops. The Jazz made only two field goals in the final five minutes.
The Timberwolves were missing Derrick Rose (sore ankle), Tyus Jones (ankle sprain) and Jeff Teague (sore foot), which caused some trouble in executing the offense and players getting the ball in unfamiliar positions.
Timberwolves: Minnesota fumbled its way to 12 turnovers in the first half. … Towns was limited to six first-half minutes because of foul trouble. … The Timberwolves outscored the Jazz in the paint 48-38.
Jazz: Ingles got a technical in the fourth quarter. … A bat flew around the arena, interrupting some of the players’ pregame shooting routines. The Jazz Bear mascot finally caught the bat. … Brandon Flowers of the rock band The Killers sat courtside.
Timberwolves: Host Utah on Sunday.
Jazz: Visit Minnesota on Sunday.