Wolves Wrap: Lakers Drop Minnesota in OT, 101-99


In a battle of the touted Western Conference’s two worst teams, the Minnesota Timberwolves dropped an overtime game to the Kobe-less, Nash-less, Randle-less, Swaggy P-less Los Angeles Lakers, 101-99.

There was some hope among the Wolves’ faithful that Minnesota could win this game. The Timberwolves entered the night winners of two of three including a comeback road victory over the Jazz on Monday. Furthermore, the Lakers had lost 10 of 12 and were on the tail end of a back-to-back, losing a hard-fought battle in Oklahoma City Tuesday night.

The game was surprisingly entertaining — and that was even before it went to overtime — mostly because of both teams’ ineptitude. The Wolves jumped out to an 11-8 lead in the first quarter, but a 16-4 Lakers run put Los Angeles on top for most of the rest of the game.

Midway through the fourth quarter, Minnesota went on a 12-2 run that gave it its first lead since the first quarter at 82-81. The Lakers led 90-85 with 48 seconds left, but Zach LaVine hit two free throws and Chase Budinger tied it with a three with 6.6 seconds remaining. Ryan Kelly got a wide open look to win it at the buzzer for L.A. but hit front iron.

After Gorgui Dieng got a knee to the nuts forcing Adreian Payne into the game, any hope of winning looked lost for the Wolves. However, Minnesota fought hard. The two teams went back and forth in the overtime session and Gorgui tied the game at 99 with 18 seconds remaining. Former Timberwolf Wayne Ellington tried to stick it to his old team with a drive but Andrew Wiggins did his best Dikembe Mutombo impersonation with an incredible block of Ellington’s layup attempt.

Unfortunately for Minnesota, referee Bennett Salvatore whistled LaVine for pushing Jordan Clarkson who went for the rebound. Clarkson hit both, and the Lakers won.

Justin Hamilton made an appearance after a four-game absence. He scored four points (all free throws) in nine minutes.

Star of the Game

Andrew Wiggins – 27 points (8-16 FG, 10-11 FT), 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks

Despite being completely overworked, Wiggins continues to put up strong performances. Wiggins had some really nice drives tonight and finally made a three, his first since the Timberwolves’ March 7 victory over Portland. He scored 12 points in the fourth quarter and overtime when no one else could produce consistent offense.

Tweet of the Night

Stat of the Night

Wiggins played 49 minutes for the second consecutive game. According to @SuperStatsDave on Twitter, Andrew has logged 97 minutes and 38 seconds in those games. His workload is not sustainable. I get that Minnesota is dealing with a myriad of injuries and he’s the best healthy player, but something has to be done about it. He’s being run into the ground.

Notable Lines

  • Chase Budinger: 22 points (9-14 FG, 3-6 3PT), 6 rebounds
  • Zach LaVine: 18 points (5-18 FG, 1-4 3PT), 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 turnovers in 48 minutes
  • Jordan Clarkson: 20 points (6-16 FG, 8-8 FT), 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 6 turnovers

Who’s Got Next?

Minnesota travels to Houston for a Friday night matchup with James Harden and the Rockets. Dwight Howard returned tonight from injury, though he was only limited to 16 minutes of action. I’m guessing he won’t play much more than that Friday due to the opponent.

The last time Minnesota faced Houston, Andrew Wiggins turned in a 30-point performance on 50% shooting. He also played pretty darn good defense on Harden.

As always, check back at DWW for a preview of the game Friday morning.