Tuesday March 31st, 2015

Rim-protector, meet rim-attacker. Timberwolves rookie forward Andrew Wiggins soared high to throw down a huge dunk over Jazz center Rudy Gobert during Utah's 104-84 road victory on Monday.

It was a prime exhibition of strength versus strength. Here was Wiggins, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 draft and known for his next-level athleticism, going up against a long-armed 7-foot-1 big man who has transformed Utah's defense in the second half of the season.

The showdown took place with a little under five minutes remaining before halftime with the Jazz leading 35-32. Shabazz Muhammad probed along the left baseline, drawing some extra attention before setting up Wiggins for an open cut into the paint from the right angle. Wiggins received the pass on the move, took one gather dribble, and then jumped off two feet to power over and above Gobert, who had rotated to the front of the rim and contested the effort with his right arm. Wiggins kept rising as Gobert came back to earth, and his thunderous finish drew immediate oohs and aahs from the Target Center crowd.

Wiggins rightfully celebrated the slam with a little flex towards the baseline stands as the Minnesota bench looked as if it couldn't believe its eyes.

It didn't take long for Gobert to exact revenge, as he stonewalled another Wiggins dunk try just seconds later.

The force of the denial sent Wiggins to the court, and Gobert took the opportunity to flex a little himself after the highlight-reel block.

Gordon Hayward led the Jazz with a game-high 22 points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals. Gobert added 15 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks in the win.

Wiggins finished with 17 points, five rebounds and two assists in a losing effort. Zach LaVine led the Timberwolves with a team-high 21 points, six assists and five rebounds.

Utah improved to 33-41. Minnesota fell to 16-58.

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