Rubio scores 23 points as Jazz beat Timberwolves, 121-97

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Rubio scores 23 points as Jazz beat Timberwolves, 121-97
Utah Jazz's Jae Crowder, left, goes to the basket past Minnesota Timberwolves' Taj Gibson during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game Sunday, April 1, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Tom Olmscheid)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Ricky Rubio scored 23 points, including a season-high 5-for-6 shooting on 3-pointers, and Donovan Mitchell added 21 points as the Utah Jazz beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 121-97 on Sunday night.

Dante Exum had 14 points and Jonas Jerebko scored 13 points to help Utah climb a half-game ahead of Minnesota for sixth in the Western Conference. The loss kept the Timberwolves one game ahead of New Orleans, which lost at home to Oklahoma City.

The Jazz shot a season-high 60.5 percent from the field and got 50 points from their reserves to split the season series with the Wolves by winning the last two games. Utah has won 25 of its past 30 games.

Andrew Wiggins scored 23 points for Minnesota, which had won two straight but fell to 19-5 at home against Western Conference opponents this season. Karl-Anthony Towns had 20 points.

Wiggins was aggressive early in a pivotal game for both teams. He scored 11 of Minnesota’s first 15 points and the Wolves held a four-point lead.

Utah recovered and methodically pulled away. The Jazz took their first lead at 22-20 and didn’t trail again. Jerebko hit a fall-away shot against Towns to cap a 25-10 run for a 41-30 lead.

Rubio, who was traded from the Wolves in the offseason in part because of his poor shooting, buried his former team further with a run from 3. He was 4 of 4 from long range in the second quarter and had 16 points in the first half.

Utah scored on four of its first five possessions of the second half to pull away and led by as many as 29 points.

TIP-INS

Jazz: PG Raul Neto missed his 10th straight game with a fractured left wrist. Six different injuries have caused Neto to miss 32 games this season. … Rubio has hit at least five 3s just two other times in his career. … Mitchell had his ninth straight game with at least 20 points, the longest streak by a rookie this season and breaking Darrell Griffith’s record for longest streak by a rookie in team history. … The Jazz are 31-7 when holding teams under 100 points this season.

Timberwolves: PG Derrick Rose was in uniform and available after missing five games with a sprained right ankle, but he was held out. … Towns finished short of a double-double for just the 14th time this season. He has a league-high 64 this season. … Rookie Justin Patton, the 16th pick in the draft, made his NBA debut. … With the importance of the game, Minnesota had its 15th sellout of the season, tying the most the franchise has had since 23 sellouts in 1991-92.

TEAGUE OUT

Minnesota was without starting point guard Jeff Teague, who missed the game with a sore right knee. Teague is eighth in the NBA with 7.0 assists per game and is averaging 13.8 points per game.

Teague had talked about some fatigue recently and he was injured in the last game against Dallas. Tyus Jones started in Teague’s place and had 15 points and four assists.

UP NEXT

Jazz: Host the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night.

Timberwolves: At Denver on Thursday night.

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