The Minnesota Timberwolves are playing themselves out of the playoffs. I gave up hope of the 2012 Postseason when the TWolves lost to the Boston Celtics last week, at the Target Center.
Tonight, the Wolves may have been short-handed, but CLEARY this was a WINNABLE game!!!! We were up by 20 points mid-way through the second quarter. The W's soon answered with a big run. It started in that second quarter. The Warriors were able to cut it to a 12-point TWolves lead heading into halftime. The Warriors outscored the Wolves 38-20 in the third quarter to take a 6-point lead heading into the final quarter. The Warriors scored 39 points combined in the first half and 38 points in the third quarter!
The TWolves battled back and thanks to Wayne Ellington were able to tie it at 94. The Wolves then had the ball with 20.4 seconds to play. For some reason unbeknownst to anyone watching, J.J. Barea threw up a contested shot that the Warriors rebounded.
The TWolves had a chance to win it with just 0.7 second to play and the Warriors up by three points. Kevin Love threw up a three that was right on target, but drew iron for his seventh three-point miss and the Timberwolves loss.
After blowing the 20-point lead and allowing the Warriors to take a lead, the boos rained down at Target Center. Kevin Love said after the game that the Wolves deserved every boo, tonight! I don't believe you could find anyone who could/would disagree with that.
What we saw was another poor defensive effort for a Timberwolves team that hasn't won a game in April since 2009. With just 10 games to go, the Wolves will likely snap that skid....but, the sooner the better!
Minnesota falls to 25-31 on the year and 13-14 at home. They'll have a chance to snap this, now, 4-game losing streak Saturday vs. the Hornets.
Let's take a look at some of tonight's top performers for each team...
HOT: David Lee. Lee won the PF matchup and his team won the game. D. Lee outscored Love by a bucket, had four less rebounds, two less assists, two more blocks and shot 52% from the field (Love shot 43%). Lee had a lot more help too. Charles Jenkins was also 'hot' for the W's. Jenkins was key to the Warriors win as he scored 7 of his 19 points in the final quarter for the Warriors win. For the Wolves, it was Wayne Ellington. Ellington got the Wolves back in the game with his play in the fourth quarter. He had 10 of his 17 in the final quarter (the other 7 all came in the second quarter). He did so efficiently, too (7-for-11 on the night, 64% and 3-for-5 from deep, 60%).
NOT: J.J. Barea. J.J. was thrust into the starting lineup with Luke Ridnour out with an ankle sprain. J.J. did scored 15 points, however....he shot 6-for-15 on the night (40%) and had 7 turnovers, while posting a -13 on the night. Martell Webster was no help tonight either. Webster played 25 minutes, but failed to score (0-for-5) and posted a +/- of -14.
MISC.: Despite Webster's rough shooting night, he did grab a season-high 8 defensive rebounds and finished with 9 total on the night......Johnson tied a season-high with 3 blocks and set a new season-high by playing 38 minutes......Ellington tied season-highs in points (17), FGM (7), 3PTM (3) and offensive rebounds (2). He also set a new season-high/tied a career-high with 7 rebounds......Kevin Love's 5 assists ties a season-high.......
KEY STATS: The Warriors shot a higher percentage from the field, had more assists, steals, blocks, fast break points and points in the paint. The Warriors also forced the TWolves into 19 turnovers in which they scored 24 points 'off of'. The big key are those turnovers. Had the Wolves cut those down by just a couple, we might have seen a different result tonight at the Target Center.
UP NEXT: Saturday, April 7 vs. the New Orleans Hornets, at the New Orleans Arena, tipoff 7pmCT
Thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!