Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 12/5

Game 1: Monday, December 5th
Game 2: Friday, February 10th
Game 3: Wednesday, March 8th
Game 4: Friday, April 7th

Jazz 94

(25-25, 12-13 away)

Timberwolves 80

(22-27, 14-10 home)

    Coverage: FSRM

    7:00 PM ET, February 10, 2006

    Target Center, Minneapolis, MN

    1 2 3 4 T
    UTAH 23 27 25 1994
    MIN 18 21 25 1680

    Top Performers

    Utah: M. Harpring 25 Pts, 8 Reb, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    Minnesota: K. Garnett 16 Pts, 18 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    Harpring leads resurgent Jazz past struggling Wolves

    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Utah Jazz worked their plan well. The Minnesota Timberwolves are still trying to figure out what theirs is.

    Reserve Matt Harpring scored 25 points and grabbed eight rebounds, leading Utah past lethargic Minnesota 94-80 on Friday night.

    "It was all while staying within the offense," said Harpring, who went 10-for-19 from the field. "We have a lot of weapons when we do that."

    Andrei Kirilenko had 19 points and Mehmet Okur added 19 points and 10 rebounds, helping the Jazz win for the fourth time in five games and improve to 25-25 -- just a few percentage points out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

    Starting point guard Keith McLeod, who appeared in 33 games for the Timberwolves in the 2003-04 season, chipped in 13 points. And Carlos Boozer played, too, getting two points in six minutes -- his first action in nearly a year after fighting foot and hamstring problems.

    "My heart was beating a little faster," Boozer said. "My anticipation was building up. It was like the first day of school, when you go to kindergarten."

    Minnesota, under first-year coach Dwane Casey, has a lot of learning left to do with time running short on this season.

    Trenton Hassell had 19 points, Ricky Davis scored 18 points on 7-for-22 shooting, and Kevin Garnett had 16 points and 18 rebounds for Minnesota -- which has lost 21 of its last 31 games and is just 3-6 since the seven-player trade that sent Wally Szczerbiak to Boston and brought Davis here.

    The Wolves shot only 37 percent and committed 18 turnovers that led to 21 Utah points. The worst part was that they were outworked and outmuscled by their opponent for most of the game.

    "I don't know, man," Garnett said. "This whole thing is an adjustment. I'm just trying to figure it out as we go."

    Frustration was evident for Minnesota, which complained about foul calls that were or weren't made for much of the night. Anthony Carter drew a technical with 1:53 left, and Garnett got one 18 seconds later. Harpring made two free throws after that, giving the Jazz their largest lead at 92-74.

    "Just crazy," Garnett said, referring to the refs.

    Harpring had 14 points in the second quarter, scoring eight straight in one stretch and sparking his team on a 21-9 run to end the half. Davis struggled to guard him, and Okur and Kirilenko gave the Wolves matchup problems, too, while the Jazz went 13-for-23 from the floor in that period and took a 50-39 lead into the locker room.

    Hassell's dunk brought Minnesota within 54-53 midway through the third quarter, but sloppiness and sluggishness on defense let Utah -- which shot only 38 percent itself -- pull away again.

    "We couldn't seem to do too much against their zone, but we kept playing hard," coach Jerry Sloan said.

    Harpring, who had 28 points in a win over Chicago on Monday, joined the Jazz in the 2002-03 season and has since averaged 17.1 points in 12 games against the Wolves.

    Boozer, who signed a six-year, $68 million contract in 2004, strained his right foot last Feb. 14 and missed the final 31 games of last season -- still finishing as Utah's leading scorer and rebounder. Boozer then strained his left hamstring in training camp and had several setbacks before returning to the court.

    "I'm just glad that nothing happened so far," Sloan said, "and hopefully he can move forward. Get back to where we can use him out on the floor."

    Marko Jaric, who lost his job as the Wolves' starting point guard and didn't even play the last two games, subbed for Carter with less than 6 minutes left in the third and his team trailing by two. Jaric went 0-for-2, Minnesota's offense was ragged and Utah had a 75-64 advantage at the end of the period.

    Casey is trying to use Carter and new point guard Marcus Banks, who came in the Szczerbiak trade, as catalysts for a faster-tempo offense. But the bench has been all over the place with the substitution patterns, and the players on the court have often looked just as chaotic.

    "You have to take care of the basketball," Casey said.

    Game notes

    Minnesota's Troy Hudson, bothered by a sore right ankle that has kept him out of the last four games, is scheduled to see a doctor next week for another opinion. He was initially hurt in a 2003 preseason game and has not been the same since, even after surgery in April 2004. ... Utah rookie Deron Williams returned after missing the last game with a sprained left ankle.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 94 80
    FGM-FGA 33-87 (.379) 31-83 (.373)
    3PM-3PA 1-6 (.167) 2-9 (.222)
    FTM-FTA 27-35 (.771) 16-17 (.941)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 18-46 14-46
    Assists 18 19
    Turnovers 10 18
    Steals 11 6
    Blocks 6 7
    Fast Break Points 9 22
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 17 (0/0) 30 (2/0)
    Largest Lead 18 3

    Top Performers

    Matt Harpring Harpring
    Points: 25
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 0
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 1
    Kevin Garnett Garnett
    Points: 16
    Reb: 18
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 1