If the NBA Summer League had a home team, it would be the Los Angeles Lakers with the Utah Jazz right behind.
Monday, the Jazz came out energized in front of their fans, a good number who made the drive down Interstate 15 from Salt Lake City and the southern part of the state, and went wire-to-wire in defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves 91-82 as Day 4 of the Summer League wrapped up at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Jared Cunningham led the Jazz (1-1) with 17 points off the bench. Adreian Payne led Minnesota (1-2) with 18 points.
The Timberwolves decided to keep Zach LaVine on the sidelines after LaVine averaged 22 points in Minnesota's first two games. He stuck around to watch Monday's game from the front row along with teammate Andrew Wiggins.
It didn't seem to matter early on as the Timberwolves led 13-10. But the Jazz rallied to lead 17-15 going into the second quarter and extended the lead to 29-19 over the first 3:20 of the quarter. Cunningham came off the bench to give Utah a lift with eight points in a 5:06 stretch and had 12 of his 17 points at intermission.
Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota's highly touted rookie center and the No. 1 overall pick in last month's NBA Draft, was looking to assert himself more offensively. He missed his first two shots, then hit a jump hook in the key. But it was more miss than hit for Towns and he would finish with 14 points, mostly on the strength of a 6-of-8 performance at the foul line, along with 10 rebounds.
Utah attacked Towns at the other end, playing physical and forcing him to defend in the low post. The Jazz closed out the final 5:25 of the half with a 16-10 spurt to lead 49-35 at halftime. Towns had six personal fouls (the Summer League limit is 10).
Minnesota attempted to climb back into it during the third quarter, cutting Utah's lead to 58-53 with 1:50 remaining thanks to an 11-2 spurt. But the Jazz were able to maintain its lead and were up 64-57 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Jazz will face Phoenix at 7:30 p.m. ET in the Thomas & Mack Center on Tuesday.