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Wolves Lose Season Finale; Adelman Decision Looms

Updated: 04/17/2014 2:04 PM
Created: 04/16/2014 10:41 PM KSTP.com

Trey Burke scored a career-high 32 points to go with nine assists and seven rebounds and the Jazz avoided the worst record since moving to Utah 35 years ago with a 136-130 double overtime victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves in the season finale Wednesday night.

Gordon Hayward had 23 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, and Derrick Favors added 21 points and 12 boards for the Jazz (25-57), who would have tied the worst record since the team relocated in 1979 with a loss. They also snapped a five-game losing streak and won for just the fourth time in their last 25 games.

Kevin Martin scored 36 points for the Timberwolves (40-42), who missed a chance to finish with their first non-losing record since 2005. Kevin Love scored 19 points on 4-for-15 shooting in what could be Rick Adelman's last game as an NBA coach.

The Jazz were cruising to the win with a 19-point lead in the first quarter and a 13-point lead with 10 minutes to play. But Martin scored 14 of his points in the last 5:35 of the game to bring the Wolves roaring back. His free throws with 57 seconds to play tied the game at 107, but Love missed a step-back jumper at the buzzer that would have won it.

Jeremy Evans had a career-high 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Jazz and Burke drilled a 3-pointer with one minute to play in double overtime for a 130-125 lead.

If this was Adelman's last game, it wasn't a memorable way for the eighth winningest coach in league history to go out.

The Wolves allowed the Jazz to shoot 49 percent, missed 12 free throws and Love, who also had 10 rebounds and nine assists, was 1 for 9 from 3-point range.

Adelman's contract has a mutual option for next season. The coach resisted several opportunities before the game to reveal his plans, only saying he planned to meet with owner Glen Taylor and President Flip Saunders, likely on Thursday, to come to a conclusion. It is widely expected that Adelman will not return, which could bring to an end an incredibly successful coaching career that spanned 25 years.

"I've been doing this a long time and I will say this, every year it does get harder," Adelman said. "The travel gets hard. You always evaluate it every year as you go through. But you also understand you have a job that people would die for and I've been lucky to have the job for over 20 years. I've got to really look at it and evaluate and talk to everybody."

Things are just as murky for Tyrone Corbin in Utah. He completed his fourth season on the bench and has presided over a massive rebuild that hasn't given him much of a chance to pile up victories. The Jazz lost 21 of their last 25 games of the season and went into the finale worried more about ping pong balls than anything else.

The Jazz certainly didn't play to lose on Wednesday night. They blazed out to a 31-17 lead against the Wolves after the first quarter, then led by 12 late in the third period before hanging on for the win.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio (9), of Spain, tries to shake off Utah Jazz guard Trey Burke (3) on a drive during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game in Minneapolis, Wednesday, April 16, 2014.
AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt
Minnesota Timberwolves guard Kevin Martin (23), guard Ricky Rubio (9), of Spain, and forward Kevin Love (42) head downcourt during a timeout in overtime.
Photo: AP/Ann Heisenfelt

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