The Minnesota Timberwolves just played one of their worst offensive games of the season. The Wolves were locked down defensively and dominated in the paint en-route to a 10-straight loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.
The TWolves played well through the first half of this one. It was a 6-point game after two quarters as the Wolves trailed 39-45.
Then came the third quarter and like many second halves this season, the TWolves fell flat on their faces. Minnesota shot just 4-of-21 in the quarter and finished with 14 points. Meanwhile, Memphis went off for 29 to take a 21-point lead through three quarters. Conley led the Grizz in that quarter, where he had 8 of his 20 points, while Prince added 6 & Bayless, Z-Bo & Gasol all had 4.
The Wolves have had a few big comebacks this season, but I think we all felt that it was over after quarter number three. Such was the case, the TWolves did outscore Memphis 24-18 in the final quarter, but Lionel Hollins (Memphis Head Coach) left his starters in the game up until the final three minutes to make absolutely certain his team secured the victory. Memphis came into the game riding a two-game losing streak.
Tonight, the Wolves' leading scorer was Alexey Shved, who had 12 off the bench. Twelve points is the lowest leading scorer for the TWolves during the regular season, this year. Cunningham & Kirilenko both had 12 in a preseason game on October 19th in Chicago. The lowest leading scorer in a regular season game before tonight was 13 apiece from Kevin Love & Alexey Shved on January 2nd in an 84-106 loss in Utah.
Let's take a look at some of tonight's top performers...
No Minnesota Timberwolf really turned in a stellar game. Gelabale & Shved both had decent scoring nights (for bench players), but not the kind of outings that can lead a team to victory. When no on in the starting lineup scores or rebounds in double digits or Ricky Rubio finishes with just 2 assists, you just know, it wasn't your night.
The Grizzlies on the other hand, had just one starter (Tony Allen) not score in double figures (finished with 7 points). Jerryd Bayless even had 15 points off the bench.
Bad defense, worst offense and you're going to lose by 15 points to one of the Western Conferences best teams.
The TWolves shot a season-low 33.7% FG, their 29 made field goals is tied for the second worst on the year, their 14 assists ties a season-worst as does their 77 total points. The TWolves were dominated in the paint, by a +22. They allowed the Grizzlies to get easy shots and couldn't return that favor on the other end. If you look at the non-shooting stats, the Wolves didn't play a terrible game. They were close on the boards, they didn't cough up a lot of turnovers and they even got some fast break production.
Hopefully, Minnesota can bounce back on Thursday night when they face the Kings in Sacramento. 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!