The TWolves got off to a great start in this one in which they built a big double-digit lead. The letdown was inevitable and the fact that they pissed the big lead away surprises no one whose seen more than a handful of Wolves games this season.
The TWolves scored 32 points in the first quarter. The Wolves got little to no production from Derrick Williams & Nikola Pekovic in Friday's loss to the Thunder. Tonight, they made a point of starting this one out strong. Pekovic scored 10 of his 21 points in the first, while DWill added 8 of his 23. AK added another 7 as MIN outscored the Warriors 32-18. Ricky Rubio was especially impressive in that first quarter. After one quarter, Ricky had 2pts, 2reb, 3ast & 4stls. The Wolves shot 54% in the first quarter and really made a point of pounding the ball down low, scoring 26 points in the paint, while holding the Warriors to 0 paint points.
With any strong beginnings for the Wolves, you can assume there will be the inevitable letdown. Tonight was no exception. Golden State outscored the Wolves 34-23 in that second quarter to make it just a 3-point Wolves lead at the half. Carl Landry got going in that second quarter as he scored 12 of his 19 points. At halftime, the Warriors were led by their stellar bench duo. Jarrett Jack had 16 & Landry 12.
The next two quarters were equally disappointing in the final two quarters, especially defensively. The Wolves allowed the Warriors to stroll in for easy layups. On O, the Warriors began to pack down into the paint to stop/slow down Derrick & Pek. The Wolves couldn't hit an outside shot (just 1-for-11 on the night) and thus, the offense stalled.
Minnesota still held the lead after three quarters (81-76) and it looked as though they could seemingly close out the Wolves for the W. Instead, a number of key mistakes late doomed the Wolves. Rubio missed a free throw on an and-one that ultimately would've tied the game up, Derrick Williams was outworked for a rebound on a free throw attempt by rookie Draymond Green that resulted in another late Warriors possession. The Warriors had no business winning this game the way they played and honestly, the Wolves didn't have any business winning with their play late in the game.
Derrick Williams finished as the high scorer for Minnesota. He went for 23pts, 12reb & 1blk while shooting 9-15 FG, 0-1 3PT and 5-5 FT in a season-high 38 minutes. His 9 made field goals is also a season-high and his 4 offensive rebounds ties a season-high. Pekovic, fresh off his awful 5-point performance vs. OKC had 21pts, 8reb, 1ast, 2stls, 1blk and shot 10-for-18 from the field and 1-of-3 from the line in 33 minutes. His 2 steals ties a season-high (7th time this season). Ricky Rubio had an incredible night as he continues to stuff the statsheet. He finished with 16pts, 8reb, 11ast, 6stls while shooting 3-10 FG, 0-2 3PT and 10-11 FT in 39 minutes. Ricky's 7 defensive rebounds ties a season-high, while his 6 steals is a new season-high and ties a career-high (3rd time in his career).
The Warriors were led by Jarrett Jack, Carl Landry & David Lee. Jack finished with 23pts, 5reb, 8ast and 1stl. He shot 8-of-19 from the field, 5-of-7 from deep and 2-2 from the line in 36 minutes off the bench. His fellow reserve, Carl Landry ended the night with 19pts, 9reb, 1stl while shooting 8-of-9 from the field and 3-of-4 from the line, while playing 33 minutes off the pine. All-Star David Lee continued his stellar season. He added 22pts, 13reb, 3ast, 1stl & 1blk, 8-15 FG, 6-6 FT in 41 minutes.
The Wolves now fall to 20-32 on the season and chalk up yet another incredibly awful game for a chalkboard scribbled with far too many this season! The Wolves will look for the bounceback on Tuesday in Phoenix. Until then, thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!