Last night, Mo Williams became just the third player in the
proud history of the Minnesota Timberwolves to record 50+ points in a game. Williams’ 52-point outburst comes on the heels of Corey Brewer‘s 51-point showing in April 2014 and Kevin Love‘s duplicate output on March 23, 2012.
The point guard’s breakout is the most impressive of the few however, due to a multitude of factors.
1. The game’s outcome and significance
Sure, this was just a mid-January contest, with no playoff implications, against a struggling Indiana Pacers team, but the streak speaks for itself. Williams’ almost singlehandedly snapped the seemingly never-ending 15-game Wolves skid. The team had been close to breaking the streak a handful of times before, but the Mississippi native was unstoppable in the second half to help the team finish the job.
And while the Wolves won Brewer’s monster game last year, there was no potential record of infamy on the line and at that point in the season, Minnesota was already out of the playoff picture.
With Love’s 51-point effort, despite a heroic double-overtime try, the Wolves ultimately lost to the Thunder that night by a score of 149-140. As cliché as it may sound, the most important thing during a historic performance like these three gentlemen had is for the team to end up on the winning side. Love and the Wolves could not finish the job that night in Oklahoma City.
2. Williams’ age and health
With all due respect to Williams, he is past his prime and another 50-point game happening in his career is very unlikely. At 32 years old he is no spring chicken and given the fact that he missed six games just last month due to injury, makes this performance that much more special.
Brewer was 28 years and 37 days old at the time of his outbreak, around the age that is commonly thought of as a player’s prime. Love was even younger for his big game, getting the 50-point game at 23 years and 198 days old.
3. The stat line
To be fair, the trio’s stat lines from their half-century games are fairly comparable. Williams’ does not stand out high and above the other two, but let’s just marvel at what he did in the win against the Pacers.
Williams shot 19 OF 33 FROM THE FIELD!! That’s 58 percent shooting. He went 6 of 11 from downtown and made 8 of 9 free throws, recorded a plus/minus of +14, dished out 7 assists, hurled in 4 rebounds, and only committed 4 turnovers.
Jan 5, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Mo Williams (25) pokes the ball away from Denver Nuggets guard Ty Lawson (3) during the third quarter at Target Center. The Nuggets defeated the Timberwolves 110-101. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
4. The clutch factor
Williams just kept getting better and better as Tuesday night’s game progressed. He scored six points in the first quarter, nine in the second, 16 in the third and an unreal 21 in the fourth.
Minnesota trailed 52-46 at halftime, and maybe sensing that he was about to go off, Flip Saunders played his veteran guard for all 24 minutes in the second half. Despite the big third quarter from Williams, the Wolves still trailed by six going into the fourth and on the road.
Williams opened the final frame with a three-pointer and later knocked down three free throws to knot the score at 83 and give him 40 points even. With 49.8 seconds remaining and the Wolves clutching to a three-point lead, the guard nailed a mega-clutch three-point basket to give him 48 points and basically wrap up the victory.
Random facts about Williams’ 52-point game Tuesday night:
– Williams’ 52 points are the league’s highest single game total in 2014-2015.
– Williams’ previous career-high for a single game was 44 points.
– Williams’ 52-points are a franchise record.
– The Wolves losing streak was the longest to be broken during a individual’s 50-point game. Wilt Chamberlain‘s 50-point game helped the Warriors’ snap their 11-game-skid back in the day.
The Timberwolves losing streak is at last over and Mo Williams’ helped them overcome the misery in historic fashion. Ricky Rubio in particular enjoyed his fellow point guard’s masterpiece.
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