I felt as though I watched a complete re-run of the April 4th matchup of these two teams. In that game, the Timberwolves pushed their lead to 20+ points by the end of the first half, only to falter in the second half and lose by just a handful of points to the Golden State Warriors. That final score: 94-97. Tonight the Wolves pushed their lead to 20+ points in the first half, only to fall flat on their faces in the second half and lose…once again…by a handful of points. Tonight’s final score: 88-93.
Minnesota moves to 26-39 on the season, with just one game remaining (vs. Denver on Thursday—I’ll be going to that game, more on that later though). The Timberwolves have now also lost 16 consecutive home games in the month of April and that’s a 6th straight home loss, as well.
The Timberwolves absolutely dominated in the first half. They jumped out to an early 15-point lead after one quarter (32-17) and by halftime held a 16-point advantage: 55-39. They started well enough in the third, pushing that lead to 20, but soon Charles Jenkins and Co. took control as Minnesota stumbled to the finish. The Wolves were outscored 20-30 in the third quarter, but still held a 75-69 advantage after three.
The fourth quarter is where this one was lost. The Wolves couldn’t buy a bucket (scoring just 13 in the quarter) and allowing Charles Jenkins, Brandon Rush & Dominic McGuire to hit some late baskets for the narrow win.
Pekovic hit a big shot and got the and-one to make it 87-88 MIN with just 1:28 to play. But, the next trip down Brandon Rush hit a three to make it 90-88 with 1:09 to play, the Wolves then turned the ball over and McGuire converted a fast break dunk and got the and-one to push the lead to 5; 93-88. The Wolves would turn the ball over again the next trip down and lost…once again.
We found out before tonight's game that Kevin Love, although cleared to play, won't play again this season. He passed all the concussion tests and participated in a light practice, but after being out for the past 10+ days, Adelman doesn't feel he can get him ready in time and doesn't see the point in him playing again this season (though Love would obviously like to). Luke Ridnour could potentially play in Thursday's finale vs. Denver...but I wouldn't count on it, says Adelman.
Let’s take a look at some of tonight’s top performers…
A TALE OF TWO HALVES!
HOT: The Minnesota Timberwolves in the first half. The Golden State Warriors in the second half.
NOT: The Minnesota Timberwolves in the second half. The Golden State Warriors in the first half.
MISC.: Tonight was Nikola Pekovic’s 15th double-double of the season. He also set a new season/career-high in defensive rebounds (13) and total rebounds (16), he also tied a season/career-high in assists (2)…..This was J.J.’s 8th game of the year with 10+ assists (12), his fifth double-double in the last seven games and his seventh double-double of the season, he also tied a career/season-high in three-pointers attempted (w/9) and set a new season/career-high in minutes, by playing the full 48 minutes (did not come off the court, once. Neither did the Warriors’ Charles Jenkins.)…….Webster scored 11 of his 18 points in the first quarter, tied a season-high with 7 field-goals made and set new season-highs with 4 three-pointers made and 9 three-pointer attempted……Beasley tied a season-high with 2 blocks……Anthony Randolph (starting at power forward) set a new season-high in free throws made (7) and tied season-highs in free throws attempted (8), blocks (5) and minutes (34)…….
KEY STATS: The TWolves shot a lower percentage from the field, got beat on the fast break (GSW with a +9) and the Warriors forced the Wolves into those 13 turnovers which they scored 15 points off, while the TWolves forced the W’s into 9, but only took advantage with 4 points. In a close game like this, the real stats you look at are the performances in each half. Minnesota scored 55 in the first half...and 33 in second! There’s your key stat of the night. Minnesota’s 100% FT shooting ties a season-high (now three diff. games shooting 100% at the line), the Wolves’ 10 blocks are the second-most of the season and Minnesota’s 1 steal (by J.J. Barea) is a new season-low.
UP NEXT: Thursday April 26 vs. the Denver Nuggets, at the Target Center, tipoff 7pmCT. SEASON FINALE!
Thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!