The Minnesota Timberwolves got some great all-around play from a number of different players and they took down Portland for the second time in under a week, while snapping an 11-game losing streak to the Blazers in Minneapolis that dated back to March of 2007. This is also the Timberwolves' first 5-straight wins homestand in over five years!
The Houston Rockets fell to the Toronto Raptors (116-98) and with that Rockets loss, the Timberwolves are now tied for 8th place in the Western Conference, which means if the playoffs started today, they'd be playing!
The Wolves had the hot-hand from deep and a season-high 13 three-pointers was a big part of the Wolves' win! Love, Wes & Ridnour all hit three, threes apiece!
The Wolves were without Nikola Pekovic, again who sat out with a sore foot. Pek said it's nothing serious (the X-rays came back negative) and said he just needs a few days. They may have lost J.J. Barea for a number of games as well. He sprained his ankle in the third quarter and did not return. Adelman said a week ago when we were curious as to whether J.J. would be able to play with the calf strain, that he might consider bringing Lee back from the D-League...definitely keep an eye on J.J. & Lee!
The Timberwolves got double-digit scoring efforts from a number of different players: Love, Ridnour, Johnson & Webster. The big key to the game as we mentioned in the preview was Kevin Love getting some offensive help, no doubt he did tonight! Let's take a look at some of tonight's key players' stats...
Wesley Johnson FINALLY stepped up! It's been a long time coming this season. He played just 28 minutes and not at all in the fourth quarter, but 10 of his 19 came in the first quarter, 4 in the second quarter & 5 in the third. Of those three missed shots, they all came in that third quarter. Love just missed another 30-point game and with that would've tied the franchise record for 30-point games in one season (held by Tony Campbell with 14). And Luke who is tied up in trade rumors about the TWolves trading him to...Portland for Jamal Crawford. Luke had 22pts on 50% along with the rebounds & assists. Jamal on the other hand? 6pts, 2rebs, 3ast and shot 3-of-13 from the field, 0-6 from deep.
Raymond Felton (who didn't start in the last meeting between these two) had a great game leading Portland with those 23pts. LA broke out of his funk, as he's been struggling the past few games out and of course, Gerald Wallace almost had that triple-double, just one-assist & one-rebound away. Last game out it was all Wallace, Batum & Crawford, tonight it was Felton, LA & Wallace/Matthews.
Let's take a look at the comparison of team stats in tonight's game...
The Wolves' three-point shooting was definitely a key in tonight's win, without those, they may not have been as victorious. The Blazers shot just 13% from deep and the free-throw differential between these two teams is crazy! The Wolves shot 26 free throws while the Blazers shot just 4, the TWolves committed only 12 personal fouls--while the Blazers nearly doubled that with 23!
Definitely a big win for the Timberwolves! As I said before, the Wolves are tied for the 8th seed in the Western Conference. However, because the Wolves won the season series over Houston this season, they would hold the advantage in the tiebreaker, so, if the playoffs did start today, Minnesota would be the 8th seed!
That's all for now, thanks for reading, the Wolves' next matchup comes Friday vs. the Lakers. Stay tuned for some pictures, video & stats from tonight's game. As well as a gameday preview of that Lakers matchup tomorrow afternoon!
Thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!