"This was a great win tonight," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. "It showed us what we can do if we concentrate on what we have to do. And this is who we are going to have and we can't feel sorry for ourselves. This is who we have and we have to figure out how we can be as good as we can with this group right now."
The Jazz were reeling before the game after learning Mo Williams would be out for so long.
But Corbin expressed confidence in veteran backups Tinsley and Watson.
Tinsley showed his leadership, making 5 of 6 shots in the first half, including one where he bounced the inbounds pass off the backside of Nikola Pekovic for an easy layup.
Watson, who is still trying to find his rhythm after a lengthy rehab following knee surgery last season, did his best to push the pace and make the key pass.
The Jazz opened the second quarter on a 15-4 run, with reserves Kanter and Watson providing the biggest punch.
Kanter hit an outside jumper, jammed after a long pass from Watson and went coast-to-coast on a steal for another dunk.
The heady Watson fed players for alley-oops and pushed the ball up the court with long passes, including one that resulted in a Hayward dunk and 40-30 Jazz lead.
In the third quarter, Millsap continued his hot hand, including a fast-break layup after a steal by Jefferson that put Utah up 70-50. Utah closed out the quarter with another 3 by Hayward and a soaring dunk by Kanter.
The Timberwolves, who had wins over Oklahoma City and Phoenix in the last two weeks, had no energy to make a run — even in a building that Kirilenko knew so well.
He was drafted in 1999 by the Jazz (24th overall pick), still owns a home in Salt Lake City and spoke fondly of his former teammates and the Jazz fans.
"There's a lot of memories," Kirilenko said. "Every fan for 10 years has some good moments and I have a lot of good moments here."
Wednesday night, despite the warm reception, was one to forget.
NOTES: Utah's roster is full at 15 because guard Raja Bell counts even though he is not with the team. The Jazz failed to trade him following a nasty dispute with Corbin last season. ... Love received a technical during Utah's big third-quarter run. Jazz PF Favors had perhaps his best move of the season when he spun around Greg Steimsma during Utah's big second-quarter run. . Former Jazz coach Jerry Sloan was in the stands again to see Kirilenko's return. . Pekovic matched his career-best with four blocks.
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