SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - When the Minnesota Timberwolves were mired in a slump, they figured they’d get back to winning if they shed some sweat.
They never thought it would take some blood, too.
Along the way to sweeping a home-and-home set against the Jazz, Alexey Shved left with a broken nose and Kevin Martin sliced open his right pinkie.
“It’s crazy. I can’t remember two people bleeding like that in the same game,” said Nikola Pekovic, who had 18 points and nine rebounds.
Love leads the league with 35 double-doubles but he thought it was passing and teamwork that sealed a sweep of the home-and-home set with the Jazz.
“I’ve been passing the ball all season and guys were converting,” said Love, who had eight assists. “I didn’t get too many looks and didn’t convert many from the 3-point line so I had to figure other ways to be effective.”
Ricky Rubio has returned to his spontaneous, free-flowing style and had 11 points and 13 assists for the Wolves, who snapped a seven-game losing streak in Utah.
“Tonight was a pure team effort,” Pekovic said. “We are all good friends between us. On the good nights everything is fine, of course.”
It was another good night for Minnesota as Corey Brewer scored 19 points and Martin contributed 18. Each time the Jazz threatened to get close in the fourth quarter, J.J. Barea hit big baskets and finished with 15 points to keep the Jazz at bay.
“I think we needed that win (on Saturday) and we had a great team effort defensively. It carried on to tonight,” Barea said.
Gordon Hayward returned from a five-game absence to lead the Jazz with 27 points, but he was the only starter in double figures.
The Jazz went 2-3 in Hayward’s absence, including a 98-72 road loss to Minnesota where Utah set a record for worst field goal percentage in franchise history at 28.8 percent.
“It felt good to be back out there,” Hayward said. “But we just didn’t get stops tonight. They were too effective offensively.”
A team that seemed disjointed and frustrated during a three-game losing streak a week ago, the Timberwolves apparently needed a couple of matchups with the Jazz to break out of the funk.