Minnesota Timberwolves Falter In Big Al's Return To Minneapolis

Joseph Fafinski@Joseph FafinskiCorrespondent IDecember 23, 2010

It was odd to see Al Jefferson in a different shade of blue, but he was a winner Wednesday.
It was odd to see Al Jefferson in a different shade of blue, but he was a winner Wednesday.Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Yes, he was the biggest threat of the Timberwolves, and perhaps one of the best centers in the NBA.

Yes, he was the centerpiece in the 2007 summer blockbuster trade that sent Kevin Garnett to the Boston Celtics, where he would win the championship he longed for in Minnesota.

But on December 22, he returned to the place where he was the main catalyst of the franchise whose young talent never seemed to stop, and the team that never seemed to win.

Although this time he was wearing navy blue instead of the usual slate blue, his talents have not changed.

"Big" Al Jefferson scored 23 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter in which the Jazz outscored the T'Wolves 41-24. He also had nine rebounds and a career-high seven blocks.

His teammates, however, did not slack.

Deron Williams scored 25 and added seven assists while Paul Millsap put 23 on the board, and had 10 on the glass as well. Andre Kirilenko chipped in 16 for Utah additionally.

The Jazz came back from 15 points down to win 112-107.

Kevin Love and Michael Beasley both had double-doubles. Love had 25 points and 19 rebounds while Beasley contributed 24 and 10 himself.

It was the 16th game in a row in which Love, a product of Portland, Oregon, had at least 10 of each.

Luke Ridnour and Martell Webster each put up 16, and Wesley was just two off their pace.

Darko Milicic came back after sitting three games due to injury and scored six points in limited time.

For the Wolves it was the seventh game in a row that they had lost. It was also the 11th game this season in which they have failed to hold a lead of at least 10 or more.

Disappointed only begins to describe what Wolves fans are feeling right now.

Big Al is in a better place now, and after all he did in Minneapolis he deserves it.

For now, my favorite team must wait.