Timberwolves Wrap: Wolves fall short, lose to Clippers


Through 16 games, many would not have expected the Minnesota Timberwolves and Los Angeles Clippers to have the same record.

Well, that’s been the case so far this year. In what has already shaped up to be an odd (both good and bad) season so far, Minnesota and Los Angeles each boasted 8-8 records coming into Sunday’s matinee. For the young Timberwolves, this season has been a proclaimed success to this point while in L.A., it’s been the opposite.

Of course, one team had to falter in this afternoon contest, with that team unfortunately being our beloved Wolves. Though clawing and fighting to erase deficits, they were unable to best the Blake Griffin-led Clippers. The Clips have now won 13 straight games against the Wolves.

The game started out looking very promising for the Wolves. Directed by Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns, the team jumped out to a six-point lead by the middle of the first quarter. However, the combination of subbing out Wiggins and Towns, a lid on the basket (not really, though it would’ve been easier to explain for the amount of misses), and six turnovers, the Wolves struggled for the rest of the quarter.

The Wolves offensive woes continued in the second quarter. Minnesota was only able to convert seven shots out of 16 attempted and made a trip to the free throw line just once during the rough stretch. Subsequently, the team trailed by 11 points going into the half.

Minnesota’s third quarter was better than the previous two; they actually outscored the Clippers and made a few runs to get back within four before the opposing team countered with runs of their own. However, the Wolves did get the lead down to ten after three.

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The fourth quarter was definitely the best offensive quarter for both teams, and easily their worst on the other side of the ball. The Timberwolves shot a scorching 63 percent from the field en route to 38 points in the final frame. Alas, the Clippers were able to maintain the lead (for the most part) due to hot mid-range shooting and points at the free throw line (mostly because of Hack-A-Jordan, but it still counts I guess).

Wiggins went over 20 points scored for the second straight game and ten out of the last twelve contests. Towns and LaVine also had strong showings, both with a near double-double (17 points and eight rebounds for Towns, 18 points and seven assists for LaVine).

All in all, it was a decent showing by the Wolves, but yet another loss without Ricky Rubio, who sat to rest his recently re-injured ankle. The youngsters are going to have to find ways to win without their point guard, as given Rubio’s injury history, he could miss time in the future.

Star of the Night

Blake Griffin – 26 points (9-16 FG, 1-1 3P, 7-9 FT), 8 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 blocks, 3 turnovers

Griffin nearly missed a triple-double in 37 total minutes. The superstar forward was efficient from everywhere, and, as always, had a few nice highlight-reel plays.

Griffin is deadly in a four-five pick-and-roll with DeAndre Jordan, and the Wolves learned that tonight. One of his highlights was an alley-oop pass to Jordan off of an on-ball screen. Playing like a top-five player this season and matching up against an old Kevin Garnett and a banged-up Nemanja Bjelica, it was inevitable that Griffin would have the game he did.

Notable Timberwolves Lines

  • Andrew Wiggins – 21 points (7-15 FG, 2-4 3P, 5-7 FT), 2 rebounds, 2 assists, one steal, 4 turnovers
  • Karl-Anthony Towns – 17 points (8-13 FG, 1-2 3P, 0-2 FT), 8 rebounds, 3 steals, one block, one turnover
  • Gorgui Dieng – 14 points (5-7 FG, 4-4 FT), 10 rebounds, 2 assists, one block, one steal, one turnover
  • Zach LaVine – 18 points (6-15 FG, 3-5 3P, 3-3 FT), 7 assists, 3 rebounds, one turnover

Next: What Are The Next Steps For Zach LaVine?

Up Next

The Timberwolves will host the Orlando Magic on Tuesday, December 1st at 7:00 p.m. Central Time, beginning a four-game home stand. The Magic are currently 8-8 before a Sunday night date in Boston with the Celtics. Orlando had won two games headed into Sunday night’s tilt.

The Wolves lost in overtime in the last match-up between these teams earlier this season in Orlando.