MINNEAPOLIS (ABC4 Sports) – Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder was asked about the key to his team’s defense. Before the reporter could even finish the question, Snyder blurted out, “Rudy. Gobert.”
He was just as impactful on the offensive end against a Minnesota Timberwolves team that looks increasingly lost.
Gobert had 16 points and 17 rebounds to lead the Jazz to their third straight win, 112-103 over the Timberwolves on Monday night.
Eight of Gobert’s rebounds came on the offensive end, and he made life miserable every time young Timberwolves stars Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns got near the paint.
“I tried to be aggressive,” Gobert said. “I think I rushed a couple times. I missed and I had to get a rebound.”
George Hill had 24 points, eight rebounds and four assists, and Gordon Hayward scored 24 for the Jazz (10-8).
Towns had 19 points and 12 rebounds but shot 8 of 18 and struggled with foul trouble much of the night. Wiggins scored 13 points on 6-for-16 shooting. All five Wolves starters were in double figures, including Zach LaVine with 28 points.
“It’s very concerning from the standpoint of you want to be making progress,” Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau said. “That’s the important thing. Every day make progress, make progress. We didn’t make progress today.”
Hayward is still playing with a broken finger on his left hand that caused him to miss the first six games of the season. He has scored at least 20 points in four straight games to help balance Utah’s stingy defense.
Shabazz Muhammad scored eight of his 10 points in the fourth quarter, tying the game at 78 with a soaring dunk. Tyus Jones hit a 3-pointer to give Minnesota an 83-82 lead, but Utah responded with an 11-0 run and closed it out.
“Obviously, Rudy is formidable at the rim,” Snyder said. “People are looking around for him. But when he goes to block shots, that’s when everybody else has to contribute on the glass.”
The Jazz will try to set a season high with their fourth straight win Tuesday night at home against Houston.