Kevin Garnett is now 10-0 vs. his former team since 'the Trade' and despite somewhat similar stat lines, KG bested K-Love in the 'Battle of the Kevins' (see below).
The Minnesota Timberwolves hot shooting seemed to carry on to the first quarter of play tonight as the Wolves tallied 30 points in the first quarter, however by game's end, Minnesota looked like the team playing the second game of a back-to-back, while the Celtics looked like the team that hadn't played since Saturday--looking plenty rested.
Minnesota moves below .500 and finish their East coast road trip 1-1. Hopefully the TWolves will get a much needed boost when they return to the Target Center. Andrei Kirilenko has missed the last four consecutive games with back spasms and I assume (or pray, rather) that he'll return to action.
The Minnesota Timberwolves outscored the Celtics 51-47 in that first half, however the Wolves reverted to old habits and let a (slim) lead slip in the second half. Boston took over in that third quarter with a 32-point outburst, Brandon Bass scored 10 of his 12 points in that third quarter, Rondo added 6 and Wilcox/Terry added 5 apiece. Rondo & Pierce took over in the fourth quarter, combining for 12 of the Celtics' 25 points. Barea scored 6 and Shved added 5 in that final quarter, however thanks to that third quarter the lapse, the Wolves couldn't make that 'ground' up and lost 94-104.
Let's take a look at tonight's top performers...
HOT: The Boston Celtics shooting. The Celts hit 52.6% of their shots from the field, which is the second-most mark by a TWolves opponent this season. Jason Terry & Kevin Garnett have been historically good against the Wolves, JET shot 70% from the field and despite less points & rebounds, I'd still say KG bested Kevin Love in the matchup of the Kevin's: more efficient, less minutes and MUCH better defense.
NOT: The Minnesota Timberwolves shooting. A day after their hot shooting from the field and from three, they followed that up by shooting 44% from the field and 31.6% from deep. It was overlooked that the Wolves shot just 58.8% from the line last night in Philly, however tonight, their 'deficiency' from the line was a key for this loss. That 46.7% from the line is a season-worst for MIN. Also, I only put K-Love on this list because of his points/rebounds, however his efficiency continues to be QUITE undesirable, here's hoping (and praying) he gets back on track soon...LIKE RIGHT NOW!
MISC. STATS: As Howard continues to start at small forward for the injured Andrei Kirilenko, he continues to play fairly well (especially for a player, working on the veteran's minimum), he finished with a season-high 3 steals and played a season-high 33 minutes...
Let's take a look at the team stats...
The TWolves shot a season-worst 46.7% from the line and left 16 points at the charity stripe. The Wolves left 16 points at the line...and lost by 10. Coming out of the first quarter it was clear the Wolves' hot shooting touch from deep was still dialed in, after the first 12 minutes the Wolves hit 4 of 5 threes. Unfortunately they wouldn't knock another one down for the next 35+ minutes of action, hitting a pair late in the fourth when the outcome (a MIN loss) was no longer in question. The Celtics shot 52.6% from the field which is the second-best for a Wolves opponent, thus far this season, they also grabbed a season-high (for a MIN opponent) 39 defensive rebounds. The Celtics were the worst rebounding team in the NBA (30th overall), while the Wolves were the 4th-best, however Boston was able to edge the Wolves on the boards with a +4.
The Wolves will be back in action on Friday vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers back at the Target Center, you can find a full gameday preview of that one on this site before then, until then, thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!