Division Champs! Jazz clinch Northwest with Victory over Minnesota

Division Champs! Jazz clinch Northwest with Victory over Minnesota



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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Carlos Boozer had 25 and 11 rebounds and Mehmet Okur added 23 points and 12 boards to help the Utah Jazz beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 108-102 on Wednesday night and clinch the Northwest Division title.

Okur, who rebounded from a stretch of four games where he averaged only eights points, made a 3-pointer with 2:58 remaining and then was fouled while attempting another with 33.8 seconds left.

He has earned a reputation for late-game heroics this season and delivered with two of the three free throws for a 101-95 lead.

Deron Williams, who had 22 points and 14 assists, and Derek Fisher combined to make 7-of-8 free throws in the last 25 seconds to secure the victory, which was Utah's seventh straight at home.

Kevin Garnett scored 25 points and Ricky Davis added 13 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter, but the Jazz held off the Wolves rally.

The Timberwolves led by as many as six in the third quarter, but Okur sparked a 7-0 run with a 3-pointer late in the period. The Jazz led 74-70 and did not trail the rest of the way.

Despite playing the night after blowing the largest lead in franchise history and looking sluggish at times, the Timberwolves stayed within single digits the entire game, but could not stop Boozer and Okur down the stretch.

On Tuesday, Minnesota led by 25 in the second half but lost to Seattle 114-106 at home.

Rookies Randy Foye scored 17 points and Craig Smith continued his best stretch of the season with 16 points. Smith has scored 10 or more points in seven of his last nine games after reaching double figures just twice in the prior 36 games. But Smith made a rookie mistake, fouling Okur behind the 3-point line with 33.8 seconds left.

Andrei Kirilenko had 13 points, eight rebounds, five blocks and three steals for the Jazz, who are tied for the second-best home record in the league at 29-7.

Matt Harpring, Utah's fourth-leading scorer, missed the game due to a stomach virus. Gordan Giricek missed his sixth straight contest with bruised ribs but rookie Ronnie Brewer made two critical fourth-quarter baskets in their absence.

The Jazz, who ended their three-game homestand undefeated, now head out for a four-game road trip.

Notes: Jerry Sloan celebrated his 65th birthday Wednesday. ... Garnett, who failed to reach 10 boards for the second time in his last three starts, leads the league in games with at least 10 points and 10 rebounds at 60. Carlos Boozer is third with 44. ... The Wolves are 6-11 on the tail end of back-to-back games.

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