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The Sports Xchange, Published April 16 2014

Timberwolves fall in season finale

MINNEAPOLIS – The game meant little other than the transition it represented.

Utah Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin might not be back next season. Minnesota Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman may never coach in the NBA again.

Even so, Wednesday’s season finale offered excitement. In a game that was defensively challenged from the beginning, the Jazz beat the Wolves

136-130 in double overtime at the Target Center.

Guard Trey Burke led the Jazz with 32 points. Of those, 24 came after halftime, 13 in the two overtimes and nine in the final five minutes of regulation, including a 3-pointer with 1 minute, 03 seconds left in the second OT that gave the Jazz a five-point lead. He also hit four free throws in the final 20 seconds to secure the win.

Forward Gordon Hayward had 23 points and 10 rebounds, and forward Derrick Favors added 21 points and 12 rebounds.

“This was good,” said Burke, whose team won for just the second time in its final 12 games. “It’s way better than going out with a loss. Obviously, it doesn’t mean much, but this is our job. Every time you step on the court, you represent yourself.”

The Wolves were stepping on the court, perhaps, for the final time under Adelman. Both Adelman and the Wolves have an option for next year, the last of the four-year deal he signed. Even so, it is widely expected that Adelman, among the winningest coaches in NBA history, may retire. Indeed Adelman, who gave no official indication of what his decision might be, did take time before the game to reminisce about his career. He wasn’t quite as happy after the game ended.

“We just didn’t have the energy we needed to have,” said Adelman, whose team was down by 14 after the first quarter and down by 19 early in the second. “We didn’t defend them that well all game.”

Guard Kevin Martin scored a season-high 36 points for the Wolves, with 27 coming after halftime. Martin scored 10 points in Minnesota’s 17-7 run to end regulation, including two free throws with under a minute left. Forward Kevin Love struggled with his shot but still finished with 19 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. He finished

4-for-15 from the floor.

The Wolves (40-42) were unable to post the team’s first non-losing record in nine seasons.

Down five points after Burke’s 3-pointer, the Wolves got to within two twice in the final 30 seconds but could get no closer.

The Jazz got the first basket of the second OT and never trailed again.

“We obviously wanted to finish .500 or better,” Love said.

And as for Adelman?

“He’s got a great family; he’s a tremendous human being,” Love said. “I just feel bad that we haven’t been able to take him as far as some of the other teams have gone that he’s coached.”

Said Martin: “If this was coach’s last hurrah, it’s very disappointing.”

Utah 31 20 29 27 12 17 — 136

Minnesota 17 31 22 37 12 11 — 130

UTAH (136)

Burke 10-21 10-10 32, Hayward 8-23 7-8 23, Favors 8-12 5-6 21, J.Evans 8-13 2-2 18, Burks 5-13 0-0 11, R.Jefferson 5-12 0-2 11, M.Thomas 4-6 0-0 9, Gobert 4-5 0-1 8, Garrett 1-2 0-0 3, Clark 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 53-108 24-29 136.

MINNESOTA (130)

Love 4-15 10-12 19, Rubio 4-13 5-5 14, Kv.Martin 12-24 9-10 36, C.Brewer 4-8 3-5 11, Dieng 1-8 2-4 4, Hummel 3-5 2-2 10, D.Cunningham 6-12 1-2 13, Shved 3-6 4-6 11, Turiaf 3-5 6-8 12, Mbah a Moute 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 40-97 42-54 130.

3-Point Goals: Utah 6-24 (Burke 2-4, Garrett 1-2, M.Thomas 1-2, Burks 1-4, R.Jefferson 1-7, Hayward 0-5), Minnesota 8-25 (Kv.Martin 3-5, Hummel 2-2, Shved 1-3, Rubio 1-4, Love 1-9, C.Brewer 0-2). Fouled out: Burks, Kv.Martin, J.Evans. Rebounds: Utah 66 (Favors 12), Minnesota 63 (Love 10). Assists: Utah 30 (Burke, Hayward 9), Minnesota 24 (Love 9). Total Fouls: Utah 34 (Burks, J.Evans 6), Minnesota 24 (Kv.Martin 6). A—14,155.