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3 keys to the Utah Jazz’s 10-point loss in Rudy Gobert’s return

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Minnesota Timberwolves’ Rudy Gobert (27) gets a rebound while playing the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City on Friday, Dec. 9, 2022.

Minnesota Timberwolves’ Rudy Gobert (27) gets a rebound while playing the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City on Friday, Dec. 9, 2022.

Ben B. Braun, Deseret News

The Utah Jazz lost to the Minnesota Timberwolves 118-108 on Friday night at Vivint Arena in Rudy Gobert’s first game in Utah since being traded away in the offseason.

The Jazz battled back after being down as many as 15 points in the first half, but the Timberwolves were able to stay cool under the pressure and put together an impressive fourth quarter to finish out the night.

Here are three keys that contributed to the result:

  • Gobert finished with 22 points and 13 rebounds and made his presence felt through the first half, allowing the rest of the Timberwolves to find a nice rhythm.
  • D’Angelo Russell was 0-of-3 from 3-point range going into the fourth quarter, but then hit six treys in the final 12 minutes, scoring 18 of Minnesota’s 36 fourth-quarter points.
  • Mike Conley returned for the Jazz after missing nine consecutive games with a knee injury. He came off the bench for the Jazz as he returns to his normal conditioning and is on a minutes restriction so the Jazz didn’t have the full Conley experience. Additionally the Jazz were without Lauri Markkanen (illness), Collin Sexton (right hamstring) and Simone Fontecchio (left ankle), putting a lot of pressure on some of the deeper bench players to play in a tough game.