The Minnesota Timberwolves have won consecutive road games for the first time since March of 2012. This is also the first time in franchise history that the Wolves have won consecutive road games, each by 20+ points!
It was thanks in large part to the Wolves continuing their current hot shooting. Over the past three games the Wolves have shot 53.2% @PHX, 50% vs. CHI and now 53.2% @DET. Tonight was also the second game that the Wolves have shot over 50% from deep.
The Wolves hit a season-high 14 three-pointers en-route to a 23-point victory.
Nikola Pekovic (8), Luke Ridnour (7) and Ricky Rubio (4) combined to score all 19 of the Timberwolves' first quarter points. They went to Pekovic early and often in that first quarter to establish that low-post presence.
That continued on into the second quarter as Pek added another 6 points and Dante chipped in 6 of his own. By halftime the Wolves were up 44-38.
'Historically' this season the Wolves have suffered major letdowns in the second halves of games. It certainly something that wasn't out of the question as the third quarter began, however those fears quickly dissipated as the Wolves erupted for 38 points, while holding Detroit to just 16. Each starter scored at least 4 points: Kirilenko led with 9 points, Rubio had 8, Luke & DWill each had 6, Pek had 4 and Budinger added another 5 off the bench.
By the end of the third quarter the Wolves were up 82-54 and they set this one on auto-pilot as the reserves played the final twelve minutes and Minnesota secured their 25th win of the season.
Let's take a look at tonight's box score...
J.J. Barea led the team in scoring thanks to his 14-point fourth quarter. Nikola Pekovic faired very well in our key matchup of the game. Pek went head-to-head with another young, promising and rising center in this League: Greg Monroe. Pek had little trouble scoring as he went for 18 & 11 in this one on 7-of-10 shooting, while holding Monroe to just 11 points on 5-of-13 shooting. Pek certainly won that battle.
Our other key matchup was the battle of the Spaniards. Two good friends going head-to-head at the point guard position: Jose Calderon vs. Ricky Rubio. Surprisingly, Calderon finished with just 1 assist on the night, but did lead his team in scoring with 14.
The Wolves' 14 threes made is a new season-high and their 87.5% FT is their second best mark of the season. However, the Wolves' 7 free throws made and 8 free throw attempts are both the second-lowest numbers on the year. There weren't a whole lot of fouls called in this one. Just 26 personal fouls were called between these two teams. The Pistons were whistled for just 12 fouls and that's a new season-low for a Timberwolves opponent.
The Wolves, now 25-44 will head back home tonight to face the Los Angeles Lakers at the Target Center on Wednesday night. Stay tuned for a preview of that one! Until then, thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!