Kicking off their 7-game NBA Pre-Season, the revamped Minnesota Timberwolves defeated the young slash slightly new-look Indiana Pacers in Fargo, North Dakota.
Leading the way for the Minnesota Timberwolves last night was none other than now-recognized big man Nikola Pekovic who scored 14 points and pulled down 5 rebounds to lead the Timberwolves to their first NBA Pre-Season victory this year. Pekovic in the first quarter quickly showed some new moves as he converted on a slam dunk and also a nifty hook/push shot in the paint. However, in the first quarter a lot of NBA fans, specifically Timberwolves fans like myself, were focused on how Brandon Roy would play in his first NBA play. I know it’s not a regular season game, but it’s still an NBA game regardless just with lower intensity.
Roy missed his first two attempts as he missed on a three-pointer and then got rejected by Pacers big man All-Star, Roy Hibbert. Roy would however manage to make a lay-up midway through the first quarter which would come to be his first NBA basket in more than a year. As the first quarter ended the Timberwolves were only up 22-19 but in the second quarter it became the Derrick Williams show.
Williams kicked off the second quarter for the Timberwolves with a three point shot followed by an alleyoop dunk from new point guard, who won bronze medal alongside fellow new Wolves forward Andrei Kirilenko in the 2012 London Olympics two months ago, Alexey Shved. Williams would end up scoring all of his 9 points in the second quarter and would help the Timberwolves garner a 13 point lead heading into halftime.
At the start of the second half, Brandon Roy scored the Wolves’ first 6 points which included 2 free throws, a layup, and a jumpshot. Starting to look good I must say. Roy ended up with 13 points and 4 assists at the end of the game.
For most of the third quarter it was dominated by Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic the two starting big men for the Minnesota Timberwolves heading into the 2012-2013 NBA season. To be honest, it’s looking good so far to me. They’re going to be underdogs as big men together. Love and Pekovic would end up dominating the paint in the third quarter as the Pacers’ big men couldn’t respond to anything they threw at them. Love ended up with 13 points and 8 rebounds, two more then he would’ve had a classic Kevin Love double-double. Who am I kidding? 13 and 10 is not even classic Kevin Love…
The Wolves would close out the third quarter in high gear heading into the fourth quarter with an 18 point advantage over the Pacers, who were relying on forward Paul George, who finished with 16 points (game-high), to carry them to a comeback victory. Unfortunately for the Pacers, the Wolves’ defense was just too much to handle last night as they ended up with just 70 points to finish the game.
The fourth quarter was pretty formal as the Timberwolves just tried to finish the game without blowing the lead. And so they did and defeated the Pacers 84-70.
So far so good for the Timberwolves and it’s fans mainly because we saw Brandon Roy play well last night. Expect more this regular season I must add.
Chase Budinger, alongside Pekovic, finished with 14 points. Budinger hit 2 three pointers which included one four-point play.
The Minnesota Timberwolves’ Pre-Season games continue Friday (October 12 6:00 PM) as they take on the Indiana Pacers once again, this time at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana.