The Minnesota Timberwolves begin their 2012-13, 1-0 with a 92-80 win over the Sacramento Kings.
Up to tonight Minnesota was the only Western Conference team that had yet to play a game. The Wolves are now 14-10 (all-time) on opening night, 16-8 in home openers and tonight was the twelfth straight year Minnesota opened their season at home.
The Timberwolves stormed out of the gate and jumped out to a ten-point first quarter lead. The Wolves shot 46% from the field in that first quarter and got out on the break for 9 points. In the second quarter is when the TWolves really opened things up thanks in large part to backup point guard J.J. Barea.
At halftime the Wolves were up 41-50 (but did hold an 18-point lead during that second quarter). J.J. had 10pts at halftime and did a fantastic job of breaking down the defense by slashing through the lane for easy layups or a kick-out to an open teammate (though Minnesota did struggle shooting threes).
The third quarter was when the Kings battled back and took the lead with just under 9 minutes to play in the third (55-54). Adelman brought J.J. back in the game and he was able to grab another six points and give Minnesota the lead (65-70) heading into that final quarter.
The Wolves were able to hold on in that final quarter, Budinger had 6pts, Pekovic & Barea both added 5, Roy had 4 and Cunningham rounded out the scoring in the fourth with 1 point to outscore the Kings 22-15 in that fourth quarter for the W.
Let's take a look at tonight't top performers from each squad...
It was the battle of the pint-sized point guards. A back-and-forth battle between Isaiah Thomas & J.J. Barea kept this one interesting. The Kings didn't get good games out of Tyreke Evans or DeMarcus Cousins (their two best players), which made them leaving the Target Center with a W, very difficult.
I wrote in an article today about Minnesota's rotation that J.J. was one of my least favorite players and that I wasn't so sure about Greg Stiemsma (saying he didn't impress me in the preseason). Stiemsma hit the glass, sent back plenty of shots and threw down a dunk or two.
Let's take a look at the team stats...
Minnesota shot a terrible percentage from the field, an awful percentage from deep and left 10 points at the charity stripe. The Wolves did hold a +10 in rebounds and a +6 in offensive rebounds, drew 34 fouls from the Kings, a +10 in points in the paint. The Wolves turned the ball over 11 times for 13 Kings' points, whereas the Kings turned the ball over once more (12 times), but Minnesota scored 20 points off them--certainly making the most of those opportunities.
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!