For the lucky people who turned off your televisions and went to bed after halftime you watch two quarters of fun Minnesota Timberwolves basketball. For those of you who decided to burn the midnight oil and catch the second half, you can share in the utter disappointment and frustration of the recent stretch of these awful second half Timberwolves.
Minnesota held a small lead (5 points) at halftime, however they had pushed the lead to double-digits in that second quarter. It was certainly another "Tale of Two Halves" as the TWolves continue to blow first half leads, now dropping their fourth straight game. The Blazers outscored Minnesota 40-53, for that 8-point W.
This second half onslaught by Portland was courtesy of the Portland Trailblazers starting backcourt. Damian Lillard & Wesley Matthews combined for 58pts, 4reb, 11ast, 4stls, 1blk on 23-34 FG, 9-14 from deep and 3-6 from the line. The Wolves just didn't have an answer for either of them, the likes of Luke Ridnour, Malcolm Lee, Alexey Shved, J.J. Barea or Josh Howard could match up.
The Wolves held an advantage in the frontcourt as Kevin Love & Nikola Pekovic turned in some solid performances. It's the guard situation that needs to be sorted out, the return of Ricky Rubio will definitely help, but the gaping hole at shooting guard (without Brandon Roy & Chase Budinger) will be the Timberwolves' biggest issue, moving forward.
Let's take a look at tonight's top performers from each squad...
Luke Ridnour also added 14pts, 2reb, 2ast, 6-10 FG in 33 min. However he definitely struggled guarding the rookie Lillard as he scorched the Wolves for 28pts. Derrick Williams registered his second DNP-CD in a row, as did Greg Stiemsma. Two players that you assumed would be a big part of the TWolves second unit, not seeing any action. I'm not blaming Adelman though, considering how awful those two have been, as of late. Kevin Love turned in another big game (though he did shoot 40% from the field) and finished with another double-double with 24pts & 13reb.
I knew Lillard would be in for a good game, matched up against Luke Ridnour. I assumed though that LaMarcus Aldridge would lead the Blazers, however he struggled with foul trouble the majority of the game and finished with 13pts, 6reb, 6-13 FG in 28 minutes.
Let's take a look at the team stats...
The Blazers held advantages in field-goal & three-point percentage(s), but really, that was about it. The TWolves crushed the Blazers on the boards, with a +14 (+11 on offensive boards), more fast break points, points in the paint and bench scoring. The Wolves lost to an opponent that shot 44.4% from the line! I wasn't as upset with the Wolves losing to the Nuggets on Wednesday, but this one stings!
Luckily the Wolves will be back in action tomorrow (Saturday 11/24) vs. the Warriors in Oakland. Tipoff for that one is set for 9:30pmCT and a full gameday recap can be found following the final horn. That's all for now, thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!