The Timberwolves had a chance to finish with a winning season for the first time since 2004-05 and a chance to sweep the Utah Jazz for the first time in franchise history, they failed at both with a double overtime loss to the Jazz on Wednesday night.
The Wolves played terribly early on and allowed a Utah Jazz team that they've handled easily on three separate occasions this season. Robbie Hummel, Corey Brewer & Ronny Turiaf seemed to be the only three Timberwolves players interested in giving some effort.
That trio helped the Wolves get back into the game, but they just couldn't get it together. A common theme in yet another disappointing season in Minneapolis.
Kevin Martin turned it on in the fourth quarter where he scored 14 of his season-high 36 points. On a night in which Minnesota's star shot just 4-for-15 from the field and 1-for-9 from deep, the Wolves clearly had to look for other options.
Four of Minnesota's five bench players scored in double figures: Cunningham (13), Turiaf (12), Shved (11) & Hummel (10).
Alexey Shved played 18 minutes the most action he's seen in quite some time this season. That was because of a combination of factors. The first was that J.J. Barea was a late scratch from the active roster with back spasms. The other was because Ricky Rubio found himself in some foul trouble midway through the third quarter that forced Adelman into playing Shved at the point.
The Wolves saved their two worst defensive outings for their final two games of the season. Prior to Monday's game in Golden State, the Wolves hadn't given up more than 130 points this season. They allowed the Warriors to score 130 on Monday and tonight they allowed the Jazz to score 136. This is the same Jazz team that the Wolves held to 72 points on January 18th. That means the Utah Jazz hold the marks for a season-high for a Wolves opponent in points scored and a season-low for a Wolves opponent in points scored...interesting....to say the least.
Trey Burke scorched the Wolves for a career-high 32 points, Gordon Hayward added 23 and Derrick Favors chipped in 21. With those three players, two mid-level talents in Enes Kanter & Alec Burks as well as a high lottery pick in the upcoming draft. The future is bright in Utah. They may not be ready for a return to the postseason as early as next year, but they have a very talented young core to build around.
The Wolves came into this season with playoff expectations and unfortunately, the Wolves are on the outside looking in come April for a tenth-consecutive season. The Wolves enter another summer with plenty of uncertainty. Headlined by Coach Adelman's future and whether or not Kevin Love will still be here next year.
Minnesota's next step will be deciding on the future of head coach Rick Adelman. Adelman said before tonight's game that he would be meeting with Flip & Glen Taylor within the next 24 hours. There's almost no chance that Adelman returns as head coach and the news we'll be hearing sometime in the next few days is that Adelman is retiring and the Wolves are beginning a coaching search.
Some early names being thrown around: George Karl, Tom Izzo, Fred Hoiberg and Tom Izzo. We'll have plenty more on the (very likely) head coaching search as well as a number of other Offseason Questions in a news post sometime later this month.
Until then, enjoy the NBA playoffs, perhaps you can watch the 38-44 Atlanta Hawks get dismantled by the Indiana Pacers.
Thanks for another great season, stay tuned to HOWL this summer for all your TWolves news and updates!
Kevin Love has been an offensive force this season, however when he goes off for 40 or more points in a game this season, the Timberwolves are just 1-5. This is Minnesota's second-straight loss and Love's second-straight 40+ point outing.
Love came into tonight's game just 36 points shy of Kevin Garnett's franchise record for the single season scoring record. With 40 points in tonight's loss, Love is now in possession of yet another Wolves record with 1,991 points this season. He'll have a chance to surpass 2,000 points scored in Minnesota's season finale vs. Utah on Wednesday.
Love was especially impressive in the first quarter where he scored 16 of his 40 points and shot 7-for-10 from the field along with 8 rebounds & 4 assists. Love finished just one assist shy of another triple-double: 40 points, 14 rebounds & 9 assists.
With no Andrew Bogut (fractured rib) or Andre Iguodala (knee), the Warriors were without their defensive identity, that is directly correlated in the final score, with Golden State allowing Minnesota to score 120 on the night.
Minnesota's always terrible defense coupled with their inability to score in clutch moments has doomed the Wolves all year long. Tonight was another prime example. You aren't going to win many close games with a unit of Love, Rubio, Brewer, Martin & Dieng on the court; with that lineup, the only person who is daring to put up shots is Love and every opponent in the League knows that.
Stephen Curry scored 35 for his third-straight 30+ scoring night (the first time in his career) also adding 5 rebounds, 15 assists & 3 steals. He also hit 7-for-13 from deep, giving him nearly half of Golden State's made threes on the night (15).
Kevin Love drew a big charge on David Lee late in the fourth quarter that gave the Wolves possession. Unfortunately on the ensuing offensive possession, Rubio committed turnover number six (of his seven) that led to a runout and a Klay Thompson slam dunk. That pushed the Golden State lead to six, 113-119 with 2:52 to play.
Over the next minute-and-a-half, the Warriors pushed the lead to ten points (their largest of the night), thanks to a big layup and a dagger three from Stephen Curry (despite him being 1-for-10 from the field prior to the lay-in).
While Love & Curry's statlines are impressive, tonight's player of the game was (without a doubt) Draymond Green. With no Andre Iguodala and Harrison Barnes not playing well, Green played 38 minutes off the bench and turned in an incredibly well-rounded line: 20 points on 78% shooting and 4 made threes, 12 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals & 2 blocks. He's the kind of second round pick that every team in the NBA prays to find. He's an ideal role player and will be an integral part of Golden State's success this postseason.
One silver lining to tonight's game: This is the second-to-last game that I'll have to watch J.J. Barea suit up for Minnesota and play terrible basketball. He has one more year on his contract and I've already decided that if he's still on the team next season, I'll be picking another team to cheer for (and that's no joke), he literally makes watching the Wolves that intolerable. He's unprofessional and no matter how terrible he plays, he still plays. It's inexplicable!
The Wolves are now 40-41 on the year and will finish their season on Wednesday night vs. the Jazz at the Target Center with a chance at a .500 season. Wednesday's game will tip at 7pmCST, enjoy!
Despite double-doubles from Kevin Love & Gorgui Dieng, the Minnesota Timberwolves couldn't overcome the play of DeMarcus Cousins and the Kings down the stretch as they fell in Sacramento 103-106.
Kevin Love scored 43 points and added 11 rebounds & 1assist, while rookie Gorgui Dieng went off for 21 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals & 2 blocks. This is the fifth time Love has scored 40 or more in a game this season. The Wolves are now 1-4 in those games.
Gorgui Dieng was especially impressive with his all-around stat line against one of his most formidable opponents thus far, during Dieng's time as a starter. DeMarcus Cousins turned in a great game, but Dieng definitely got under his skin and turned in a stellar performance of his own.
Cousins finished with 35 points, 15 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal and 3 blocks. However, he also picked up a technical foul after protesting a foul call that went against him. They showed it on the TV and you can clearly see him mouth the words "That's Bullsh*t". Shortly thereafter he was hit with the technical. That means he'll be suspended for Sacramento's next game, which (unfortunately for him) is the season finale. There were a lot of Kings fans clamoring for the technical to be 'rescinded' by the NBA, which would allow him to play, but I don't see that happening--nor should it.
There was a recent article about Cousins in ESPN the Magazine about how 'misunderstood' Cousins has been during his time in the NBA and because he's never been in trouble with the law (like other NBA players) he's really not that bad a guy. When you're punching guys in the stomach (Houston's Patrick Beverley earlier this season) and throwing temper tantrums when you're called for a foul--then there's a reason you have a bad reputation and you simply need to GROW UP!
Minnesota's loss is a combination of factors, however one glaring issue was the play from the Timberwolves' starting backcourt. Ricky Rubio and Kevin Martin (who returned after a six-game absence) went a combined 0-for-12 from the field, with just 2 points. Rubio added 11 assists and thus did contribute, but Martin was pretty dreadful.
On the other hand, the starting backcourt of Isaiah Thomas & Ben McLemore combined for 33 points on 12-for-24 shooting.
When big-time scorers like Kevin Love & Kevin Martin return to the lineup, it's obvious that you have to defer to them. When your second-leading scorer in K-Mart struggles like he does tonight, it puts a massive burden on the rest of your team. Love, Dieng and even Mbah a Moute (who scored a season-high 12 points off the bench) played well, but it just wasn't enough.
Minnesota got within a single possession multiple times in the final seconds of the game, but they just couldn't catch any breaks down the stretch after blowing yet another lead midway through the final quarter. Gorgui Dieng nailed a triple as the buzzer sounded to add a sliver of a silver lining to tonight's game.
The Wolves have now played 80 games and are once again at .500 on the season. With just two games remaining, the Wolves need a win vs. the Warriors tomorrow night and a win over the Jazz (in MIN) on Wednesday to finish above .500 for the first time since 04-05. Regardless, the Wolves will already finish with the best record since that 04-05 season.
Tomorrow game vs. Golden State will tip at 9:30pmCST from the Bay Area, enjoy the game.
Corey Brewer scored a career-high 51 points on 19-for-30 shooting vs. the Houston Rockets on Friday night en-route to a 112-110 victory.
Rookie Gorgui Dieng, who started at center buried a jumper with 4.6 seconds to play that was ultimately the game winner. Dieng also received his Rookie of the Month trophy prior to tonight's game for the month of March.
However, the star was Corey Brewer. On another night in which the Wolves were without 60% of their usual starting lineup (Love, Martin, Pekovic) as well as some key reserves (Budinger & Muhammad) it was on the shoulders of some unlikely offensive options to get the job done against another offensive juggernaut in the Houston Rockets.
The Rockets themselves were without 40% of their usual starting lineup (Beverley & Howard), which meant more looks for Harden (33 points) and Parsons (27 points).
Brewer's previous career-high was 29 points a mark that he surpassed midway through the third quarter. Corey scored 16 in the opening frame, 10 apiece in the second and third and topped it off for a 15-point finale to boost a Wolves team without their top three scorers to a victory in which they were still able to score 112 points!
Not only is Brewer's 51 points a new career-high, it also ties the franchise record for most points in a game. A distinction he now holds with Kevin Love (who previously set the record in that triple overtime game of March 2010 vs. the OKC Thunder). Brewer is the lone record-holder of the franchise record for most points in a regulation game (previously held by Kevin Garnett, 47). Brewer is the fifth player this season to score 50+ or more in a game, he joins OKC's Kevin Durant (twice), Toronto's Terrence Ross, Miami's LeBron James and New York's Carmelo Anthony.
Overshadowed in Brewer's career night was the play from rookie Gorgui Dieng as well as some great contributions from Dante Cunningham and Ricky Rubio. The last time the Wolves played the Rockets, Dieng scored 21 points and grabbed 22 rebounds. Tonight he scored 12 points (including the game winner) and finished with 20 rebounds as well. Dante Cunningham who drew his 7th start of the season in place of the injured Kevin Love scored a season-high 20 points and grabbed a season-high 13 rebounds. Rubio also double-doubled with 15 points, 5 rebounds & 10 assists.
Here's a look at tonight's full box score...
The Timberwolves racked up a season-high 39 fast break points, 15 of which came in the first 6:38 of tonight's game. Kevin McHale opted to play Omer Asik less in the second half and had Terrence Jones play some center minutes, which helped slow the Wolves transition game slightly, however in a game in which the NBA's leader in fast break points scores 51, it's a given that you'd have a big night in that category as a team.
The Wolves are now 40-39. This is the first time since 2004-05 that the Wolves have won 40+ games (they went 44-38 in 04-05, also not making the playoffs that year). If the Wolves can win on more game in their final three outings they'll finish with a .500 or better record for the first time since (obviously) 2004-05, as well.
The Wolves will face the Kings on Sunday night in Sacramento for their 80th game of the year. That one will tip at 8pmCST, enjoy!
Joakim led the way for the Chicago Bulls with his fourth triple-double of the season (tied with Indiana’s Lance Stephenson for tops in the NBA) for the 87-102 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Wolves were coming off an impressive win over the West powerhouse San Antonio Spurs on Monday night and they played a good first half in tonight’s game.
Unfortunately they fell apart in the third quarter as the Bulls outscored the Wolves 17-27. That was thanks in large part to Kirk Hinrich, who had a very nice scoring/shooting night—he scored 9 in the quarter and vet Mike Dunleavy added another 8.
The Wolves ultimately didn’t have enough in the tank to mount a comeback (despite being down just 5 points after three quarters) in the fourth.
Ricky Rubio continued his nice recent stretch of aggressive offensive play. He was especially impressive in the first quarter where he scored 9 points also adding a rebound and 4 assists. Rubio finished with 15 points, 1 rebound and 6 assists.
The Wolves had just 10 available players for tonight’s game. Starters Kevin Martin (foot) and Nikola Pekovic (ankle) sat again. Reserves Chase Budinger (ankle) and Shabazz Muhammad (knee) also watched from the bench. But, tonight Minnesota’s J.J. Barea (back/neck) also sat out.
That left the Wolves with Robbie Hummel and Gorgui Dieng drawing starts and a bench of Alexey Shved, Othyus Jeffers, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Dante Cunningham & Ronny Turiaf.
Alexey Shved was given backup point guard duties and it was definitely a mixed bag of results. There were some possessions (on both sides of the ball) that he looked completely inept and there were others once he clearly became slightly more comfortable that he showed flashes of what we saw early in his rookie season. He was beat consistently on back door cuts from D.J. Augustin and if it wasn’t that he was instead hung up on a pick for an easy wide open jumper for his matchup.
Minnesota’s best reserve, hands down, was big man Ronny Turiaf. Turiaf always bring energy, hustle and interior defense but tonight he added some offense output for a second unit devoid of any real scoring threats. Turiaf finished with 11 points, 5 rebounds and 1 monster block on Taj Gibson...which was followed by a monster throwdown on the same Taj Gibson.
We are now officially one week away from the end of the regular season and for a 10th consecutive year, it marks the end of the Minnesota Timberwolves' season. The Wolves have four more games to play, with their next coming on Friday night vs. the Houston Rockets at the Target Center, tipoff is 7pmCST.
The Spurs entered tonight 60-17 as well as 2-0 vs. the Wolves this season. The Wolves walked out of Target Center with their 18th loss and a 2-1 season series record vs. the Wolves.
Tonight's game at the Target Center was the makeup game that got 'smoked out' in Mexico City on account of that faulty, smoking generator.
The Wolves caught a bit of a break not having to face Tony Parker, however it was more than fair considering the Wolves were without Kevin Martin, Nikola Pekovic, Chase Budinger & Shabazz Muhammad.
Kevin Love returned after a one-game absence with back spasms in Orlando. He finished with another double-double notching 19 points & 12 rebounds to go along with 4 assists and 1 block in 33 minutes of action.
Gorgui Dieng continued his late season 'coming out' party, posting another double-double as the Wolves starting center, finishing with 12 points & 15 rebounds as well as 1 block against future Hall-of-Famer Tim Duncan (though Timmy certainly took it to Dieng a couple times early in tonight's game).
Most impressive was the play from Ricky Rubio. Rubio has made some strides in the past month offensively. He's been attacking the rim more aggressively and has hit a higher percentage of not only those shots at the rim, but also in his mid-range and three-point game. He led the Wolves tonight with 23 which came on a career-high 10 made field goals in 34 minutes. Rubio has had some great games against the Spurs and while this one certainly doesn't top his triple-double at this time last season, it's very nice to see him finding some offensive consistency.
The Spurs looked much like the listless Wolves team we saw a couple of weeks ago, that appeared to have given up on the season. They've pulled themselves out of that funk recently as they've nabbed 3 wins in their past 4 outings with each win coming against playoff-bound teams (assuming Memphis makes it).
The Spurs couldn't get into any kind of groove on either end of the floor. The Wolves defense was decent, however in all honesty the Spurs just couldn't hit their shots. They didn't do themselves any favors with the way they played defense either. San Antonio truly looked like the team that will be calling it a season in a week!
The Wolves held the Spurs under 35% shooting for the first half and San Antonio couldn't do much to raise that in the second half. They also hit just four three-pointers and hadn't hit any until almost midway through the third quarter. Throw in their carelessness taking care of the basketball and the fact that the Wolves dominated on the glass.
All around, the Wolves simply played harder and were more efficient on both ends of the floor. The Wolves are now one game above .500 on the year and with just five games remaining there's a good chance they could finish with a .500 or better record for the first time since 04-05. Unfortunately, the playoff drought will still hit a decade this summer.
The Wolves are back in action tomorrow night vs. the Chicago Bulls. They're already in town and Tom Thibodeau and his staff were even in attendance at tonight's game. That one will tip at 7pmCST.
The Minnesota Timberwolves were without 60% of their usual starting lineup as well as their top three scoring options. Despite some solid play from usuals Rubio & Brewer, the Wolves fell to the Magic in Orlando on Saturday night.
Kevin Love sat with back spasms, Kevin Martin missed a second-straight game with a sore foot and Nikola Pekovic has now missed twenty of Minnesota's last thirty games with his ankle problems. The Wolves were also without rookie Shabazz Muhammad who is nursing a knee sprain after colliding with Chris Andersen in last night's win over the Heat.
The Wolves started a new starting lineup in tonight's game, their 11th of the season: Ricky Rubio, Chase Budinger, Corey Brewer, Dante Cunningham and Gorgui Dieng.
Budinger got the start after having his best offensive outing of his Timberwolves career with 24 points on 7-of-9 shooting in the 2OT thriller vs. Miami on Friday. He played all of one minute before exiting for the night with an ankle injury.
Dante Cunningham returned from his one-game absence after posting bail and arriving in Orlando earlier today. Kevin Love was a late scratch from the lineup with back spasms and Dante got his sixth start of the season. He brought the same intensity on both ends of the floor we've seen all season--especially in games that he starts.
With no Kevin Martin and ultimately no Chase Budinger, rookie Robbie Hummel played a career-high 33 minutes and also set a new career-high with 12 points.
Mbah a Moute scored 8 of his 10 points in the opening quarter and was very aggressive driving the baselines for layups.
The most impressive tonight, however was Ricky Rubio. In games that the Wolves have been without a lot of their usual scoring punch, we've seen Ricky step up into that role. Especially when the Wolves are without Kevin Love, Rubio seems to take his offensive games to entirely new levels. That was the case again tonight as he was ultra-aggressive driving lanes for easy layups as well as adding a number of mid-range shots to boot. He finished with a double-double.
The Wolves simply seemed a little undermanned and were ultimately overpowered by the Orlando Magic bench. The Magic have two incredibly talented young players that come off their bench in rookie guard Victor Oladipo and forward Tobias Harris. Oladipo scored 10 of his 16 and Harris added 6 of his 17 in the fourth quarter. Those two alone outscored the whole Wolves unit 15-16 in the fourth.
After last night's double overtime win it was apparent that Rubio & Brewer (among others) definitely had some tired legs--a lot of the shots that had gone down earlier in the game couldn't find bottom.
When you couple that with the fact that the Wolves hit just 1 three-pointer (in 15 attempts) and the fact that they left 9 points at the line, it's easy to see why they lost. You can add to that the fact that the Magic shot over 50% from both the field and from deep as another key factor.
The Wolves are back at .500 on the season, but they'll have a couple days rest until their next matchup. They'll face the San Antonio Spurs in a makeup game on Tuesday night at the Target Center, that one will tip at 7pmCST.
A couple of weeks ago it appeared the Minnesota Timberwolves had called it a year and packed it in. With ultimately no chance at ending the postseason drought, they appeared ready to pack it up for the summer.
With three-straight losses (to Houston, Phoenix & Memphis) the Wolves seemed to be headed in a nosedive for the remainder of their games. They bounced back with easy wins over the Lakers and the Hawks, before falling back into bad habits in Brooklyn and vs. the Clippers.
The team we've seen the last two nights can only make you wonder what kind of season it would have been had they played with this kind of passion and heart for all 82 games.
The Wolves used a big third quarter vs. the Grizzlies in their last outing to down a likely West playoff-bound Memphis team 102-88. Tonight the task was even loftier, they were facing the defending champions on their home court where they had only lost six games all year long!
Little did they know they'd have to battle not only LeBron James but also a questionably lopsided officiating session to win the game in double overtime. It's these kinds of games that prove the NBA isn't interested in watching it's defending champions lose to a lowly lottery bound team from the frozen tundra of Minnesota. All the casual fan (a.k.a: bandwagon Heat fan) cares about is watching LeBron pick apart defense with his incredible combination of agility and strength en-route to a third-straight title for South Beach. It's why the ESPN coverage is all about Miami, the Lakers and the teams in New York. If that's the case, why don't we just have a four-team League and save everyone else the time.
The NBA has a long tradition of being 'rigged' and as far as I'm concerned tonight is just another black eye in a long line of bumps and bruises of this abusive relationship. (Perhaps not the best analogy to use while Dante Cunningham sits in the Hennepin County jail on domestic assault charges)
I think LeBron James is the world's best player and I love watching talented casts of teams work their magic on the basketball court, but these kinds of games would be so much more enjoyable if everyone is on a level-playing field with the officials. The only thing I love more than a supersquad team dominating is watching the underdog take it to the defending champions...the NBA officiating makes it damn near impossible.
I wrote the following recap while watching the game, enjoy...
I missed the first 6+ minutes trying to find the right channel while the Cleveland Indians beat up on the Minnesota Twins.
The Wolves are having early success attacking Miami’s interior defense. Gorgui Dieng making the ‘small ball’ Heat pay on the interior. Enjoy seeing Dieng finding early success down low, but can’t help but wish Pek was available tonight to beat up on Chris Bosh (& Andersen).
The Miami defenders can’t stop Love & Dieng in the paint. Miami defenders have fouled Dieng on two start possessions. Dieng accounted for 9 of Minnesota’s first 17 points.
The Timberwolves ended the first quarter on a 7-2 run to erase a 10-point deficit and finish the quarter down by 5, 24-29. Dieng led all scorers with 9, both Love and Chris Bosh added 8 apiece.
The Wolves shot 42% to Miami’s 57% in the first quarter, they also went a terrible 2-for-7 from the line (29%).
The Wolves started the second quarter with Rubio, Muhammad, Budinger, Hummel & Turiaf.
After Chase ended the first hitting just 1-for-3 from the line, but nailed a triple to begin the second quarter. A few possessions later the struggling Budinger hit another triple, this one from the corner to give him 7 on the night, in just 5 minutes played.
Following a collision with Chris Andersen under the basket on a drive to the rim, Shabazz Muhammad left the floor and was ruled as questionable to return with a ‘knee injury’.
The Wolves bring Love & Dieng back into the game and the Heat counter with a bigger lineup of Bosh & Andersen after the Wolves had their way with the Miami ‘small ball’ lineup in the first quarter.
The Heat don’t seem to be taking this game too seriously. When you have a closer like LeBron James, that’s a luxury you have.
The Heat put the majority of their starters back on the court and they promptly erased the big run the Wolves second unit went on with a 13-2 run to take a 10-point lead with 2:18 to play in the quarter.
The Wolves countered quickly with a 10-0 run to tie it at 52 after the first 24 minutes.
The Wolves end the first half in a tie despite shooting just 8-for-14 from the free throw line, a putrid 57%. The Heat ended the first half still shooting over 50% from the field (51%) while the Wolves shot just 44%. Minnesota stayed in the game with their relentlessness on the offensive glass with 8 first half offensive rebounds as well as 13 second chance points.
At halftime, Gorgui Dieng was still the game’s leading scorer with 13 points to go along with 3 rebounds, 1 steal and 2 blocks. Chase Budinger added 11 off the bench and Kevin Love chipped in 8 points, 6 reboudns & 1 assist.
The Heat were led by 11 points apiece from both LeBron and Bosh. Lebron also added 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and 1 block. Mario Chalmers contributed another 10 points, 4 rebounds & 4 assists.
Ricky scores 5 of Minnesota’s first 7 points of the third quarter.
Wolves struggled to hit their three-pointers to start the second half. They did move the ball very well, just couldn’t knock down the shots. Definitely one of the best games as far as ball movement for Minnesota, I’ve seen this season.
Wolves played some very good basketball to begin the second half. With just over three minutes to play in the third quarter, the Wolves led by their largest margin of the game; 72-63 (9-point lead).
That prompted a 6-0 run on two consecutive and-ones from MVP LeBron James. The Wolves picked it up after that, but a lot of their possessions ended on bad passes that led to transition opportunities for the Heat.
The Timberwolves turned in a solid second-straight third quarter, after they had a lot of success vs. the Grizzlies on Wednesday night at the Target Center.
The Wolves led by two points, 77-75 after three quarters, but LeBron James scored the final 12 points of the quarter for the Miami Heat to give him 25 on the night. The third quarter was the battle of the MVP-candidates (not that Love will actually win MVP…but he’ll get some votes). James had 14 total points in the quarter and Love had 11 to give him 19 on the night.
Budinger hits his third triple of the night early in the fourth quarter to give him 14 off the bench for the night in one of his best offensive outings of the season.
The Wolves’ defense fell apart early in the fourth thanks to their continuing carelessness taking care of the basketball and leaving three-point shooters wide open behind the arc. Not too smart leaving the NBA’s best three-point shooter ever wide open behind the line (Ray Allen)!
LeBron James left the game a few minutes into the fourth, will likely return in a few minutes to close out the game for the Heat.
The Wolves built their lead early in the game thanks to their interior offense. For whatever reason they’re settling for strictly threes on four-straight possessions mid-way through the final quarter. Ultimately they hit 2-for-4, so it ultimately worked out for Minnesota.
Both LeBron and Love check in for the final 5:30 of the game. Adelman keeping Mbah a Moute into the game to check LeBron James, Corey Brewer did a decent job until that third quarter, we’ll see if LeBron has any better luck. Wolves also running with Turiaf at center to check Bosh and playing good D on the versatile big man.
Turiaf puts Birdman on a poster and the Wolves take a 7-point lead with under three minutes to play.
With 1:37 to play and Minnesota up just 2 points, Norris Cole fouls Ricky Rubio on a three-pointer at the end of the shot clock to give him three shots at the line; hits 2 of 3, Minnesota up 4; 95-91.
A Chalmers and-one makes it a one-point game, 95-94 with 1:02 to play.
LeBron commits a foul underneath on Mbah a Moute and Luc hits both free throws to push it to a three-point lead with 45 seconds to play.
Refs call a terrible blocking foul on Barea after Mario crashed into him in the paint. Mario went 1-for-2 at the line to tie the game at 97 with 3.9 seconds to play. Adelman takes a timeout for a shot at the win.
Love’s three-pointer rattled out at the buzzer and we’re going to overtime at 97-all. The Wolves were led in the fourth quarter by six points from Bud & five from Mbah a Moute. Ray Allen turned it up in the fourth, previously scoreless in the first three quarters, he led the Heat with 8 points.
MIN 2-1 in OT games.
MIA 2-3 in OT games.
Wolves being overtime with Rubio, Budinger, Mbah a Moute, Love & Turiaf—sticking with the players that ended the fourth quarter.
Back-and-forth affair for both team offensively in the extra frame. Neither team backing down.
Chase Budinger hits a fourth triple for his 20th point of the night an gives the Wolves 107-106 with 1:10 to play, Miami lead.
With 29.4 seconds to play, Bosh rebounds a missed three and is fouled underneath. Bosh hits both to give the Heat a 107-108 lead.
Love hits a 13-foot hook shot over the long arms of Chris Bosh to give the Wolves a 109-108 lead with 14.9 seconds to play. Love’s shot meant the 10th lead change of the night in this overtime frame!!
Chalmers gets the call on the foul and goes to the line with 1.9 seconds to play. Chalmers hits 1 of 2 again and ties it (again) at 109. Timeout for the Wolves for another shot at the win…or double-overtime.
Love misses the turnaround at the buzzer to send the game to double overtime.
This officiating is incredibly embarrassing for the NBA. They’ve tried to hand the game to Miami all night long and have made some HORRIBLE calls.
Tonight’s game is the first double overtime game between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Miami Heat.
Wolves going with Rubio, Barea, Budinger, Mbah a Moute and Love to start double overtime.
Mario Chalmers getting the benefit of the call on every single possession! This is the absolute worst officiating I’ve seen. An absolute black eye for the NBA. “Let’s make sure the Wolves lose because no casual NBA fan on the Heat bandwagon wants to see some team from the frozen tundra beat the defending champs.” Absolute crap!
Love nails a triple to give the Wolves the two-point lead with under 30 seconds to play following a foul on the rebound by LeBron James (his 5th). Wolves lead 119-117 with 29.7 seconds to play, Miami ball.
LeBron to the line with 16.2 seconds to play, he hits 1 of 2 and the Wolves lead by 1.
Heat foul Barea on the inbound and he hits both to give the Wolves a three-point lead with 13.1 to play.
Chris Bosh hits a three out of the timeout with 10.8 seconds to play to tie it at 121.
Love finds Brewer underneath who is fouled from behind by Norris Cole. With 1.8 seconds to play, Brewer steps to the line for two free throws and hits 1-for-2. The Heat rebound and quickly call the timeout.
Miami ball with 1.4 seconds to play. Somehow they rebounded the ball, came down with it, maintained possession then called a timeout and only 0.4 seconds came off the clock.
Ray Allen misses the contested shot at the buzzer to give the Wolves a one-point win in double overtime to end Miami’s 7-straight wins over the Wolves.
At any point tonight the Wolves could've called it quits and handed the game to the Miami Heat. The Heat came in lackadaisical, realizing they were facing a lottery-bound team and expected the game to be handed to them.
Ultimately Miami realized the Wolves weren't going to fade quietly and dialed up the intensity in the second half. The Wolves were able to weather that storm and some poor officiating for their 37th win of the season.
Kevin Love was spectacular, however Minnesota's Player of the Game has to be Chase Budinger. Air Bud finally found his shot as he finished with 5 triples and 7-of-9 shooting from the field. He scored 24 points (not only a season-high, but also the most he's scored as a Minnesota Timberwolf) as well as 4 rebounds, 4 assists & 2 steals. Ricky Rubio's double-double 13 points, 6 rebounds & 14 assists deserve a mention as well.
Here's the full box score...
The Wolves will be back in action tomorrow night vs. the Magic in Orlando. Will likely be a tough game considering the Wolves are short-handed and they just played a double overtime game! Tipoff is set for 6pmCST.
The Minnesota Timberwolves didn’t look like the same team we’ve seen in the past week. They played with hustle, energy and passion and the results obviously speak for themselves.
The Memphis Grizzlies struggled out of the gate hitting just one of their first eight attempts from the field. Tayshaun Prince, who was terrific against the Wolves when these two teams met a week ago, was a big part of that slow start, going 1-for-5 from the field during that 1-for-8 run for Memphis. They rectified that and took a lead late in the first quarter. A Kevin Love corner three tied things at 20 apiece after the first twelve minutes.
Minnesota’s season-long achilles heel (the bench) checked in to start the second quarter. They began the quarter with Barea, Muhammad, Budinger, Cunningham and Turiaf. It was that unit and the energy from Muhammad & Turiaf that helped the Wolves go on a big run. Even more impressive is that the Grizzlies continued to play with their two best players: Mike Conley & Marc Gasol. Despite that, the Wolves’ bench outdueled the Grizz and took a double-digit lead.
Both teams put their full starting units in to finish the first half. The Grizzlies sparked a small run, but the Wolves scored the final four points of the half to take a 7-point lead, 48-41, into halftime.
Love led the Wolves’ first half attack with 15 points, 8 rebounds & 4 assists; while big man Marc Gasol led the way for the Grizz with 12 points.
The Wolves starters, particularly Ricky Rubio came out hot offensively. Rubio scored 6 quick points within the first minute and a half of the third quarter. Minnesota also stepped up their intensity defensively and quickly pushed their lead to double digits.
Ricky was especially impressive in the third quarter going 5-for-7 from the field after going 0-for-2 from the field in the first half. Rubio scored just 1 point in the first two quarters, but added another 13 in the third quarter alone. He also forced Mike Conley into two quick fouls midway through the quarter to give him four on the night and forced him to sit until the fourth quarter.
Unfortunately Rubio had to leave the court after falling underneath the basket, he came up limping and upon checking out of the game he went directly to the locker room with trainer Gregg Farnam. It was ultimately ruled a sprained ankle and Rubio jogged back to the bench early in the fourth quarter.
It was shortly after Conley was forced to sit with foul trouble that the Wolves extended their lead to the largest of the night; 66-52.
The Wolves did a little bit of everything offensively in the third quarter. They hit threes, scored inside, got out on the break for transition buckets and drew fouls to get opportunities at the line. After three quarters the Wolves led by 16; 77-61.
The Wolves began the fourth quarter with the same lineup that got them going offensively in the second quarter: Barea, Muhammad, Budinger, Cunningham & Turiaf.
The Grizzlies were able to cut it to single digits and it didn’t take long for Adelman to get Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio & Kevin Martin back into the game.
There was a moment early in the fourth quarter in which Kevin Love & James Johnson got tangled up underneath the basket. Love swung around and hit Johnson in the head with and elbow and Johnson reacted with a shove. It was ruled a flagrant one by Love and a technical by Johnson. It was on Johnson’s free throws that the Grizz cut the lead back to single digits. It easily could’ve served as a major turning point in the game for Memphis, but the Wolves weathered a small Memphis run. The Grizzlies got within 7 points, but that was as close as they’d get on the night.
They did so thanks to a number of factors: Love’s third career triple-double, Turiaf’s defense on Gasol, Turiaf’s slam dunks in the paint, Rubio’s aggressiveness on defense (4 steals), Rubio’s aggressiveness driving to the paint for lay-ins and transition buckets from Brewer & Martin.
All together, struggles from Mike Conley & Zach Randolph doomed the Memphis Grizzlies. When you couple that with being unable to stop Minnesota’s offensive onslaught and it was just a rough night for Memphis tonight.
I admit, I was pretty surprise with how the Wolves played and that they actually built a big lead and maintained it in the second half to walk away with a win against a team that shamed them a little over a week ago in Memphis.
The Wolves snapped a two-game losing streak and a six-game losing streak to the Memphis Grizzlies to move back to .500 on the season at 37-37. The Wolves will be back in action on Friday night vs. the Heat in Miami. Tipoff is set for 6:30pmCST.
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!