al jefferson

During his three years in Minnesota, Timberwolves fans saw everything Al Jefferson showed in a Utah Jazz uniform on Wednesday night. The endless pump fakes, the odd-angle jumpers, the tenacity on the boards.

Everything except the big fella running a coast-to-coast break and igniting what proved to be a game-deciding run.

Jefferson had 20 points and 11 rebounds, and Paul Millsap scored 21 points to power the Utah Jazz to a 97-93 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night.

”He’s cat-quick now,” Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said with a smile. ”He’s always saying he’s a (small forward). That was a good look.”

Jefferson helped the Jazz overcome a sluggish start against his former team to pick up a rare road win against a Western Conference opponent. Utah now has four wins in 17 road games in the West.

Big Al spent three seasons in Minnesota after being traded from Boston as part of a package for Kevin Garnett, and he endeared himself to the long-suffering fan base here with his creative low post game. He was traded to Utah in 2010, partly so the Wolves could make room for Kevin Love in the frontcourt. Love is out with a right hand that is broken for the second time this season, and Jefferson had his way with the rest of the Wolves down low…

Derrick Williams had 24 points and a career-high 16 rebounds, and Ricky Rubio had 18 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds for the Timberwolves, who shot a season-low 34 percent.

– Reported by Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press