The Minnesota Timberwolves stuck in this one all night long and I know many of us were hoping for a finish similar to last season's first matchup with L.A., when K-Love hit that buzzer beater three for the W.
Unfortunately the Wolves couldn't execute in that final minute and they walk away, now losers of 6 of their last 7 games. This also ends Minnesota's four-game West coast road trip, which they finish 1-3 (with losses to Portland, Golden State and the Clippers).
Minnesota found themselves leading by one-point heading into the final quarter. Usually the fourth quarter is a time Love takes over, unfortunately he could only muster two points. Alexey did all he could to get Minnesota the win, scoring 10 of his 17 in that final quarter, however thanks to 20pts (combined) from Chris Paul (10), Blake Griffin (6) and DeAndre Jordan (4) and some solid execution in that final minute, the Clippers win this one 95-101.
After playing 41 minutes in the win over Sacramento last night, Andrei Kirilenko was unable to play tonight due to back spasms. In his place, Josh Howard got his first start in a TWolves uniform. It's also his 400th career start (this coming after his 500th career game last week at Golden State).
Let's take a look at some of tonight's top performers for each team...
HOT: Alexey Shved came off the bench for the Wolves to have another great game, scoring 17pts while playing a team-high 36 minutes. For the Clippers, it was (as usual) Chris Paul. The best point guard in the League had little trouble vs. Luke Ridnour & Malcolm Lee.
NOT: Kevin Love. Yes, Love scored 19pts, but did so on 3-of-12 shooting and you could easily see that, that hand was bothering him. For the Clippers, Caron Butler was coming off a 33-point game vs. the Hornets on Monday, but tonight he finished with just 2pts on 1-of-8 shooting.
Let's take a look at the team stats...
The Minnesota Timberwolves absolutely crushed the Clippers on the boards, holding a +17 as well as a +10 in offensive rebounds. The Clippers made up for that rebounding differential, by forcing the Wolves into 20 turnovers which they turned into 19 points, many of them courtesy of those 22 fast break points.
The TWolves will be back in action on Friday vs. the Milwaukee Bucks back at the Target Center. We'll have a full gameday preview of that one before then. 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!