- The Timberwolves will start Ricky Rubio, Andrew Wiggins, Tayshaun Prince, Kevin Garnett, and Karl-Anthony Towns.
- The Nuggets counter with Emmanuel Mudiay, Gary Harris, Danilo Gallinari, Kenneth Faried, and Joffrey Lauvergne.
- Nuggets control opening tip and we're underway in Denver at the Pepsi Center.
- Scoring starts with Ricky Rubio driving the lane on Mudiay and finishing at the rim. His finishing ability early in the season is definitely much improved from seasons past.
- Towns aggressive early with 6 of Minnesota's first 8 points.
- Kevin Garnett & Kenneth Faried are already getting into it tonight. KG got in Randle's head on Wednesday in LA, wouldn't be surprised to see more of that tonight in Denver.
- Rubio's now missed two straight jumpers on two consecutive possessions from 18-feet. Hopefully he continues to fire and doesn't let the misses detract him from what we clearly know he's capable of.
- Tayshaun Prince looks like he's 80-years-old moving his feet and fighting through screens. I really don't think he'll be Minnesota's starter for the full-season. Not the lockdown defender he once was, still an above-average defender, however.
- It doesn't seem like Minnesota has much offense to rely on with this opening group--especially with Wiggins hampered by the back injury. KG & Prince are out their for veteran leadership and defense. Leaves a lot of pressure on Ricky, Karl, and Andrew. It's too bad Bjelica isn't a better small forward defender, because it would be fun to see him in the starting lineup. He'll still get plenty of burn behind 39-year-old Garnett though.
- Wiggins definitely pressing here early. His shot is't falling, have to wonder how that back is affecting him. Something to keep a close eye on tonight.
- KAT with a couple of big blocks on consecutive possessions, got the team defense fired up and led to a shot clock violation against Denver.
- Minnesota settling for a lot of jumpers here early...and they aren't falling.
- Towns putting together a REALLY good game thus far. He's got 8 points (of MINs 15), 2 rebounds and 2 blocks with 4:38 to play in the first quarter.
- Bjelica hits a wide open corner three-pointer. Wolves FSN broadcaster saying the Wolves have settled on a nickname of "Belly" for Bjelica...I can dig it.
- Fun seeing 6'10" Bjelica snag a rebound on one end and take it the length of the floor. Such a great ball handler for a big fella.
- Minnesota really locking down on defense in the first quarter. It's thanks in large part to the interior presence of Towns and Dieng.
- Bjelica really crashing the glass in the first quarter.
- The Timberwolves up 26-16 after the first quarter.
- Towns: 8pts, 2reb, 3-4 FG, 2-2 FT in 7 min.
- 4pts each for Gallinari, Faried, & Harris
- MIN shooting 47% FG to DENs 33% also MIN 7-8 FT while DEN has yet to attempt a free throw.
- Why is Andre Miller not playing? If Zach LaVine is struggling and clearly not a backup point guard, why are they not playing the vet?
- Gorgui Dieng doesn't seem like he really wants to play tonight. Looks like he's just going through the motions out there. Follows up his disappointing season opener in LA. Makes you wonder if he's happy about playing behind rookie KAT.
- Wiggins has now drawn two fouls on a couple up fakes and a jump shot.
- Towns is damn impressive in the post. Granted he's going against Joffrey Lauvergne & Nikola Jokic...but he's got some good moves down low and a soft touch around the rim.
- Rubio back into the game for LaVine with 6:21 to play in the half, he joins Wiggins, Bjelica, Prince, & Towns. Minnesota up 33-27. KG checks in for Bjelica 20 seconds later.
- A 7-foot rookie rumbling down the court and finishing with a Eurostep to draw the foul! KARL-ANTHONY TOWNS!!!
- Nuggets had cut it to a four point Wolves lead, but a technical foul and a personal foul sent Rubio to the line for 3 shots to push it back to a 38-32 Minnesota lead with 3:16 to play.
- Emmanuel Mudiay is going to be good. No doubt a STEAL at the 7th pick. Can see already why the Nuggets moved on from Ty Lawson.
- I like Kenneth Faried, but he's a pretty big flopper! Spending a lot of time on the floor tonight!
- These Nuggets are committing very dumb fouls. Fouling jump shooters (including two three-point shooters). Giving Minnesota easy opportunities at the line--now they just have to covert them!
- LaVine converts a last second shot and the Wolves take a 10-point lead into the half.
- The Timberwolves lead 49-39 after two quarters.
- Towns leads all scorers: 14 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 5-10 FG, 4-4 FT in 16 minutes.
- Martin: 8 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1-4 FG, 1-1 3PT, 5-6 FT in 11 minutes off bench.
- Mudiay: 9 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist; & Faried: 7 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist.
- Timberwolves shooting 42% FG, 40% 3PT, 71% FT to Denver's 31% FG, 20% 3PT, 79% FT. The Timberwolves have attempted 21 free throws to Denver's 14.
- The Timberwolves aren't playing up to their full potential offensively. They're doing well defensively holding Denver to just 39 points in the first 24 minutes, but their offense doesn't seem to have any flow.
- Gary Harris has been matched up with Andrew Wiggins tonight and Wiggins definitely taking advantage of that matchup—drawing fouls and getting himself to the free throw line. Wiggins struggling shooting from the field, but is drawing fouls and contributing offense from the line.
- Karl-Anthony Towns doing work. Up to 19 points and continuing to impress on both ends.
- A stoppage in play is because of faulty clocks. One shot clock says 9:27 and the other 8:50. They reset the clock and leave it off—leaving Denver without a shot clock.
- Wolves open up a 14-point lead 62-48 with 7:44 to play in the third.
- More clock problems results in another stoppage! Let’s figure it out Pepsi Center!
- Wiggins with the tap-in and hopefully that can get him on track offensively—follows it up with a seal, nice pass from Rubio, and an easy bunny inside; Minnesota up 66-52 with 5:25 to go third quarter.
- Towns is the reason the Wolves are up by 19 right now. He’s having himself a Rookie Player of the Week kind of game. 71-52 Minnesota, 4:25 to play. Up to 26pts, 12reb, 3blks (12pts, 4reb in third quarter alone).
- Timberwolves lead 79-63 after three quarters. Towns leads all with 26pts, 12reb, 1ast, 3blks, 10-15 FG, 6-6 FT in 24 minutes.
- Problems that have plagued Minnesota in the past? Finishing teams off. Hopefully that is a thing of the past. We shall see…
- TWolves looking sloppy early in the fourth quarter, but they still hold a double-digit lead and are getting defensive stops.
- This game is far from over and the Wolves need to play like that is the case. Minnesota just a 10-point lead, 83-73, with 6:47 to play in the game.
- Minnesota’s starters on the floor here with under 6:00 to play. Mitchell still clearly playing with late-game lineups after going with Rubio, Martin, Wiggins, Bjelica, Towns—down the stretch in L.A. on Wednesday.
- Before Nikola Pekovic the Wolves had Rasho Nesterovic as their best center in franchise history. I think it’s quite clear that during his time in Minnesota, Karl-Anthony Towns will undoubtedly take over that honor during his career (perhaps sooner rather than later).
- Timberwolves struggling at the free throw line today after finding a lot of success on Wednesday. Not affecting them on the scoreboard, however as the Nuggets have scored just 73 points with 3:24 to play in the game.
- The Timberwolves close out the Nuggets 95-78 to move to 2-0.
- The Timberwolves got a monster game from their rookie center. Towns finished the night with 28 points, 14 rebounds, 2 assists, 4 blocks, 1 turnover, and 3 fouls. He shot 11-for-19 from the field and 6-for-7 from the line in 33 minutes.
- Andrew Wiggins added 18 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, 4 turnovers, and 2 fouls. He struggled shooting the ball going 5-for-13 from the field, 0-for-1 from deep, but 8-for-10 at the line.
- Martin had 14 points off the bench and Zach LaVine added 10 as well.
- Ricky Rubio followed up his career-night in L.A. with 12 points, 5 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 steal, 2 turnovers, 3 fouls. He struggled shooting too going 2-for-8 from the field, 0-for-2 from deep, but like Wiggins found his opportunities at the line and capitalized, 8-for-9 from the line.
- The Nuggets also had 5 players in double figures: Mudiay (15), Will Barton (14), Joffrey Lauvergne (10), Danilo Gallinari (10), Nikola Jokic (10). Kenneth Faried also added 9 points & 15 rebounds.
- Minnesota held the Nuggets under 80 points and that's a big testament to their improved defense. Tayshaun Prince gave Danilo Gallinari the business tonight and despite what I said earlier about him struggling to move his feet through screens (which is still true), he did bother Gallinari, who shot 4-for-13 from the field for 10 points.
- The Wolves held the Nuggets to 31% FG and 20% 3PT. However the most important factor for the win was the work Minnesota did at the free throw line. The Wolves shot 33-for-41 (81%) at the line compared to 15-for-20 (75%) for the Nuggets. Those 21 extra free throw attempts were undoubtedly the difference in tonight's game.
That's all for now, the Wolves are back in action on Monday vs. the Trailblazers. That will be Minnesota's home opener and will tip at 7pmCT from the Target Center. Thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!