Jaylen Nowell leads Minnesota explosion in rout of Jazz

Capping a wild few hours on and off the court, Anthony Edwards scored 31 points and Jaylen Nowell added a career-high 30 as the Minnesota Timberwolves took a 143-118 victory over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night in Salt Lake City, right after the teams reportedly agreed to be part of a major three-way trade.

Both squads played short-handed due to injuries (Minnesota’s Rudy Gobert, Kyle Anderson and Karl-Anthony Towns), a league suspension (the Timberwolves’ Austin Rivers) or players involved in the trade between the Jazz, Timberwolves and Los Angeles Lakers sitting out.

In the reported transaction, the Lakers receive D’Angelo Russell from Minnesota and Utah’s Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt; the Timberwolves acquire Jazz guards Mike Conley and Nickeil Alexander-Walker along with three second-round picks; and Utah picks up Russell Westbrook, Juan Toscano-Anderson, Damian Jones and a lightly protected 2027 first-round pick from Los Angeles.

The trade was reported by ESPN and The Athletic moments before tipoff, but has yet to be approved by the league. The NBA’s 2023 trade deadline is Thursday at 3 p.m. ET.

As for the Jazz players who were suited up, Collin Sexton scored 22 points and Lauri Markkanen added 21. But a midgame defensive debacle led to a third straight loss.

The game was competitive for the first quarter, which ended with Minnesota ahead 33-31.

It got out of hand over the next two quarters for Utah, which has now traded away all five starters from the 2021-22 season in a Danny Ainge-engineered retooling effort.

Minnesota scored 77 points in the first half en route to a 10-point halftime lead, and tallied 117 points through the first three quarters after scoring 44 in the second quarter and 40 in the third.

Edwards, who contributed eight assists and seven rebounds, scored 17 in the third quarter — during which time Minnesota took a 30-point lead.

The offensive explosion helped the T-Wolves bounce back from a 146-112 blowout loss in Denver on Tuesday night.

Luka Garza added 25 points and Josh Minott had 12 points and 11 rebounds to lead a Minnesota bench that scored 48 points.

The Timberwolves shot 57.1 percent from the field and a blistering 53.5 percent from 3-point range. Seven Minnesota players made at least two 3-pointers. Nowell hit six of the team’s 23 makes from beyond the arc.


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