It was yet another game lost by just a few points. Thus far, the Timberwolves have lost their first three games by a total of 9 points. The Thunder by 4, the Bucks by 3 and now the Heat by 2. Is the game versus Dallas going to be a one-point loss?!
The Wolves were playing in front of their second consecutive sellout crowd in the Target Center, which was the first time since the 1991-92 NBA season! Clearly, Minnesota fans are eager to see K-Love go to work & new additions Rubio, Williams & Barea in action!
The TWolves had just five players on their bench. However, there's no question those five players were key in this VERY close game. All five bench players scored in double-digits--combining for 57 points total!
The Timberwolves were without: J.J. Barea, Malcolm Lee & Nikola Pekovic. You can find a full injury report under the Team Report-Injuries section on this site (updated daily).
The Heat were--as per usual--led by the "Big Three". The birthday boy: LeBron James (his 27th birthday), led Miami with 34 points. Chris Bosh battled with Love & Randolph all night and had 20 points. And of course, Dwayne Wade (who was nursing a foot injury) had 19 points and hit the game winning shot (again) on a lob pass--layup. Wade, had that final shot in a victory vs. Charlotte on Wednesday. Without a doubt--CLUTCH!
Kevin Love led the TWolves with his usual 25-12. Usually a big scorer: Michael Beasley--had just 4 points in 22 minutes (staying out of the game with 4 fouls). The big-time bench scoring was led by Anthony Randolph who had 14 points, then Ricky with 12, Ellington with 11 and Tolliver/Williams with 10 apiece.
The Timberwolves had a five minute stretch in the second quarter where they went on a 16-0 run (20-8 run to end the half) that got the Timberwolves back into the game, from a 13-point Miami lead through one quarter. The Heat starters came out strong in the third quarter, but a 10-1 run to begin the 4th quarter had the Timberwolves up 85-83 with 8:38 to go in the game.
Let's take a look at some team statistics for each team...
Fast Break PTS
PTS in the Paint
Team TOs (Points Off)
The Timberwolves were in it till the end, however, like last season, this team just cannot close games. This team was able to "hang" with one of the best Western Conference teams: the Thunder on Monday and at the end of the week--one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference! This team has awesome potential, but I'd rather be talking about W's, then how good we could/will be!
Let's take a look at some individual stats from tonight's game...
Kevin Love: 25pts, 12rebs, 3ast, 2stls, 6tos, 4fls
10-19 FG, 1-3 3PT, 4-6 FT, in 33 min.
A. Randolph: 14pts, 3rebs, 1stl, 1blk, 2tos, 3fls
6-9 FG, 0-1 3PT, 2-2 FT, in 25 min. off bench
Ricky Rubio: 12pts, 6rebs, 12ast, 1stl, 5tos, 1fl
4-7 FG, 2-2 3PT, 2-3 FT, in 31 min. off bench
W. Ellington: 11pts, 5rebs, 1ast, 3stls, 1to, 3lfs
5-13 FG, 1-6 3PT, in 31 min. off bench
A. Tolliver: 10pts, 7rebs, 1ast, 2tos, 3fls
3-8 FG, 1-3 3PT, 3-5 FT, in 27 min. off bench
L. James: 34pts, 8rebs, 10ast, 4stls, 4tos, 2fls
16-26 FG, 0-1 3PT, 2-4 FT, in 37 min.
Chris Bosh: 20pts, 9rebs, 4ast, 1stl, 3tos, 4fls
9-17 FG, 0-2 3PT, 2-3 FT, in 36 min.
Dwayne Wade: 19pts, 3rebs, 5ast, 3blks, 5tos
8-19 FG, 3-6 FT, in 38 min.
Norris Cole: 12pts, 1reb, 4ast, 2stls, 1to, 2fls
6-10 FG, 0-1 3PT, in 30 min. off bench
What can you say about the Big Three that hasn't been said. There all great scorers, their all all-stars, without one of them--the struggle. They have some bench players who could step up, but their bench isn't consistent. Norris Cole was a huge addition for them this season. A fun fact: both of the Timberwolves' point guards were players the Timberwolves drafted and traded to the Heat--both Cole (2011) & Chalmers (2009)!
That's all I've got for now! Stay tuned for some pictures of tonight's game that will be added to the Media--Pictures as well as a video recap! Thanks for reading, the Wolves' next game will be versus the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday (1/1). Tipoff is set for 6pmCT and a full gameday preview for that game can be found for that game on this site under the Gameday header, before then. GO WOLVES!