The Minnesota Timberwolves came into tonight's game looking awful from the very beginning. As a matter of fact it took them nearly four minutes to score their first basket (a 3 from Love). Things took a turn in the final quarter and Minnesota ran away with in the final minutes to seal a 93-85 victory for their 6th win of the season (making this their best start in 5 years!). While sending Detroit to a dismal 3-12!
The Timberwolves mustered just 17 points as Detroit took a 17-20 lead after one quarter. The second quarter didn't go much better (shooting-wise), luckily Minnesota was able to keep it close through one half; 36-42.
Detroit continued to let Minnesota hang around as they just couldn't push the lead far enough out of reach. Through three, Detroit lead by just 7 points; 71-64. It wasn't a pretty three quarters, however if you turned it off through three you missed a solid TWolves finish. Their bench got Minnesota back in the game (and kept them in the game!). The first ten points of the fourth quarter all came on Derrick Williams at the free throw line and two threes by Barea! Tolliver & Ellington then took the reins and a two threes by Tolliver, a BEAUTIFUL dunk and three from Wayne, made it 88-81 Minnesota with just under four minutes to go. Minnesota's final six points all came from the line (via Love & Rubio) as they sealed the win.
Let's take a look at some of tonight's statistics from each team's key players...
Minnesota got a great game from their bench and Tolliver and Ellington are just a couple contributors of what was a 46-point outing in bench scoring for Minnesota. Their play in the final quarter helped create distance on the scoreboard and allowed Minnesota to cruise to a W in the final minutes. Love had his 65th career 20/10 game, played an astounding 43 minutes and grabbed an impressive 17 rebounds (6 offensive!). Ricky Rubio may have struggled to score from the field, however he stuffed the stat sheet in just about every other category. Right down the line 9pts, 8ast, 7rebs & 6stls. Just 1pt, 2ast, 3rebs & 4stls from a quadruple double! I'm seeing at plenty of triple doubles for the Euro-phenom in coming years!
For Detroit, Tayshaun Prince & Ben Gordon kept them close. During the first three quarters it seemed like everytime Minnesota would score, Prince would knock down a jump shot on the other end. Plenty of times when Minny didn't score which allowed Detroit to get out to a 16-point lead at one point. Tolliver locked down on him in the final quarter, allowing him to score just 4 points in crunch time when Detroit desperately needed a bucket.
Let's compare some team statistics from tonight's game...
The story? Minnesota's bench thrashed Detroit's! A whopping +30 advantage in points off the bench for Minnesota. The Wolves did a better job of limiting turnovers, but an even better job of limiting the points scored off of turnovers. All the while, they forced Detroit into 19 TO's which led to 23 Minnesota points. Beyond that, the Pistons left 11 points at the line, while shooting a solid 44% from the field. They make at least 15 of those 21 attempts it's a different last few minutes!
The Timberwolves also got reserve guard J.J. Barea back, he played 14 minutes and had 8 points, 6 of which came on two 3s in the final quarter. Check the injury report for updates on Beasley, Webster, Lee & Miller.
Minnesota hits the road tomorrow as they'll face the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday, followed by the Jazz on Saturday, before returning home on the 23rd vs. Houston. Thanks for reading HOWL! we'll have some pictures from tonight's game up soon as well as an updated stats page. Tomorrow we should have a video recap/highlights as well as a postgame report from Adelman. GO WOLVES!
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!