Playing at Utah is difficult enough, but breaking in a new point guard was more than Minnesota could handle.
Karl Malone scored 26 points and pulled down nine rebounds to lead the Jazz to their fourth straight win, a 99-72 victory over the Timberwolves on Saturday.
John Stockton dished out 10 assists and Utah held on to the best record in the NBA (17-4).
Minnesota, playing its first game with newly acquired Terrell Brandon, suffered its sixth loss in its last 11 games.
Kevin Garnett was the only Minnesota player to score in double figures with 22 points. He also grabbed 14 rebounds.
"It's nice to win a game, but it looked like we were just going to try and play it out a few times," said the never-satisfied Jazz coach Jerry Sloan. "They brought Terrell Brandon in, and he hasn't had a chance to practice with them. He will make the shots on you, and he will hurt you."
Utah jumped ahead by nine points in the first quarter, and the Wolves never got closer than seven points.
Brandon played 27 minutes and scored eight points. He came to the Timberwolves from Milwaukee in a three-team trade that sent Stephon Marbury to the New Jersey Nets. Brian Evans, who also came to Minnesota in the trade, from New Jersey, played six minutes at the end of the game, scoring two points.
"I'm just glad to get this first one out of the way," Brandon said. "I just have to get used to my teammates. I didn't have a lot of time, but I'm not using that as an excuse. I'm a veteran, so I've got this first one under my feet, and hopefully Monday (against Utah, in Minneapolis) I can contribute a little more."
Jeff Hornacek scored his 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting in the first quarter as the Jazz took a 28-19 lead. The closest the Timberwolves would come would be two minutes into the second period, 31-24. Utah led 45-3at halftime, and stretched it as high as 73-53 in the third quarter, extending it to a 27-point difference in the fourth.
"When we are active defensively like we started off tonight and like we were last (Friday) night, we're a good team," said Ostertag, who blocked six shots and grabbed 14 rebounds. "Now it's a matter of maintaining it every night. We had a tough one last night and maybe we were a little sluggish at times tonight."
Utah got off to a quick start, outscoring Minnesota 28-19. The Timberwolves held the Jazz to 5-of-18 shooting (27.8 percent) in the second period, but Utah still outscored them 17-15 to hold a 45-34 lead at halftime.
Malone scored 14 in the first half, and Hornacek added 11. Garnett led the Wolves with 10 points, but both teams shot poorly for the half.
The Jazz play nine of their next 12 games on the road.
Notes: Brandon was averaging 13.5 points and 6.9 assists in 33.7 minutes a game in 15 games with Milwaukee. Marbury averaged 17.7 points and 9.3 assists in 36.1 minutes in 18 games with Minnesota. ... Ostertag had four rebounds, two points and a blocked shot in the first 3@1/2 minutes. He had three blocks, four points and six rebounds in the first quarter. ... Brandon made his first appearance in a T-Wolves uniform at the 6:35 mark of the first quarter. He missed his first shot, a three-pointer, and made his second. ...On Thursday against Denver, Malone surpassed 10,000 career free throws, becoming just the third in NBA history to do so. The others are Wilt Chamberlain (11,862) and Moses Malone (11,090). ... The Timberwolves are 6-1 when scoring 100 points or more, and 7-6 when scoring less than 100. The Jazz have given up 100 or more points just twice all year, both times in overtime. The Jazz are holding opponents to 86.5 points a game.
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