The Minnesota Timberwolves very nearly had a big let-down in tonight's game. They had a 15-point lead after just one quarter, however the Kings were able to rally back and it came down to the final seconds. The Kings had a chance to win it at the buzzer but missed and the Wolves finally moved above .500.
This is the latest (in the season) the Wolves have been above .500. Last time was Jan. 21, 2007, when the Wolves were 20-19. With this win the TWolves are on a 3-game winning streak. This is their second three-game win streak of the season and the first time since 2008-09 that the Wolves have had two or more three-plus straight wins in the same season.
The Timberwolves remain at 10th in the Western Conference after this win as they move two games above the Memphis Grizzlies who they play tomorrow night.
Let's take a look at some key performers in tonight's victory for both teams...
The Timberwolves got another HUGE performance from PEK and moved to 6-2 when Pek plays more than 20 minutes. The marquee matchup of the night was definitely Pek vs. DMC. Nikola clearly got the better of Cousins as foul trouble forced him to play very limited minutes. He rebounded, shot a high percentage, blocked shots and got three steals! His all-around game was beyond impressive. I think it's safe to say that the Darko era at center is finally over! Darko missed tonight's game after spraining his ankle in practice. Beasley came off the bench and his 14 rebounds were HUGE for the Wolves who were without Kevin Love. Along with Beas: Pek (10), D-Will (8), Ridnour (6) & Rubio (6) all stepped up and grabbed another rebound or two. Williams started in place of Love and had a solid night in just 26 minutes. Rubio tied his career-high with 14 assists--8 of which came in the first quarter alone!
The Kings got a big performance from Jimmer who came off the bench and played 17 minutes. His contribution came in the final quarter when he was a key part of the Kings' late rally. He scored all 13 of his points in the fourth quarter! A big part of the win was Pek keeping DMC in check. He was only able to play 25 minutes and there were a number of plays where Nikola just made him look ridiculous!
Let's take a look at some team stats from tonight's game...
Neither team shot every high percentages from anywhere. The Wolves left 10 points at the line which would've/could've given them more 'breathing room' in the final quarter. Of course--the Kings themselves left seven points at the line themselves.
Even without Kevin Love the Wolves were still able to out-rebound the Kings. Granted it was just a +1 but the Wolves had the edge! Thanks to Pek they also edged Sacramento in points in the paint: 44-36. The turnovers were up and the points that the Kings scored off them was also WAY to high! The TWolves were able to force the Kings into 19 themselves however!
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!