The Philadelphia 76ers had won their previous four games coming into tonight's matchup with a Wolves team that had suffered some major disappointment following a narrow loss to a Thunder team playing without Russell Westbrook.
The Wolves & Sixers kept things close through the majority of the first half, but Minnesota went on a run midway through the second quarter to take a 16-point lead into halftime. The Wolves scored 38 points in the second quarter--Barea, Shved & Pek all had 8 points apiece in that quarter to lead Minnesota.
The Wolves made a killing off their red-hot shooting (especially from deep) as well as their perimeter defense--which forced a lot of Philly turnovers that the Wolves turned into easy buckets on their end.
For the first time since November 1st, Ronny Turiaf suited up for the Wolves. His presence was most certainly felt. He didn't score at all (in fact he was the only Timberwolf that played that didn't), but he took just one field goal attempt. His impact was felt on the boards where he had a season-high 9 rebounds and in rim protection--finishing with 2 blocks (he now leads the Wolves in blocks per game). It's great to have him back in the rotation and it's great for the Wolves to have someone who can protect the rim, alter shots and simply be another big body in the lane.
The Wolves continued their dominance in the third quarter. They outscored the Sixers by 15, 35-20 led by Kevin Love who had 16 of his 26 points & Kevin Martin who scored 11 of his 18.
With the game well in hand and the Wolves over 100 points through three quarters (105-74), the starters sat for the remainder of the game. That meant that none of the starters played over 30 minutes in tonight's game. In fact, no player on either team played more than 30 minutes--both Love & Michael Carter-Williams played a game-high 29 minutes each.
Adelman was able to empty his bench in the fourth quarter and everyone who was on the active roster played. Shabazz Muhammad would've played tonight had he been on the active roster--unfortunately he was already on his way to Reno to play for Minnesota's D-League affiliate, the Iowa Energy.
Let's take a look at tonight's box score...
Minnesota's 46 made field goals, 100 field goal attempts and 6 blocks all tie a season-high. The Wolves 16 made threes, 61.5% from deep and 126 total points are all season-highs. They also held the Sixers to an opponent season-low 4 offensive rebounds.
The Wolves' three-point shooting was one of the many keys in tonight's victory. Tonight's game saw 7 separate Wolves nail a three-pointer. J.J.'s 3 made threes ties a season-high and Price's 1 made three ties a season-high.
Robbie Hummel had a rough night offensively going 1-for-5 from the field, but did some work on the glass, grabbing a career-high 3 offensive rebounds and 8 total rebounds.
Gorgui Dieng only played 6 minutes, but tied career-highs with 2 offensive rebounds and 1 steal.
Kevin Martin was another player who was hot from deep, but he also played the role of playmaker and tied a season-high with 4 assists on the night.
Nikola Peković played only 23 minutes, but he grabbed a season-high 9 defensive rebounds and tied a season-high with 14 total rebounds.
Pek's work on the boards and with plenty of Wolves getting in on the scoring outburst, the Wolves didn't need as much from Love who finished with 26 points and just 7 rebounds.
A.J. Price who is someone the Wolves may potentially waive before his contract becomes guaranteed had his best offensive game of the year. In just six minutes he made a season-high 4 field goals, attempted a season-high 6 field goals and finished with a season-high 9 points.
Alexey Shved's 4-for-12 shooting are season-highs in makes & attempts, his 4 assists is a new season-high and his 3 steals not only sets a new season-high, but also a new career-high.
The Wolves as a team had a career night! It really was a joy to watch after a disappointing end to their last outing. The Wolves will need to build on this victory if they want to take their first meeting of the season with the upstart Phoenix Suns (who visit the Target Center on Wednesday night).
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!