The Timberwolves beat the Washington Wizards 132-129 in double-overtime on Friday night to finally put an end to an extremely hard-fought game.
Karl-Anthony Towns led the Wolves with a double-double of 27 points and 10 rebounds, but the Wolves wouldn’t have been in the second overtime without Zach LaVine, who hit two three-pointers with under 25 seconds left in the first overtime to extend the game.
The game was close the entire way, with neither team being able to open up any kind of significant advantage. The first half was high-scoring, with John Wall hitting a buzzer-beater to tie the game at 62 heading into halftime.
It was more of the same for the entire second half. With time winding down in the fourth quarter and the Wolves down three, Wiggins drove from the left wing and kicked it out to Gorgui Dieng in the corner, who didn’t hesitate at all and knocked down a huge triple to tie the game.
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The Wizards had two chances to win in regulation after a missed Wall layup was tipped out to Beal, who was wide-open for three but missed.
In overtime, it looked like rebounding was going to be the downfall of the Wolves when they allowed offensive rebounds on two straight possessions that led to a four-point lead for the Wizards.
LaVine took over at that point, however, canning a triple to cut the lead to just a single point and then hitting another to tie the game after Beal hit two free throws. Beal had another shot to win the game at the end of overtime, but that one didn’t fall, either.
The Wolves were able to get the lead on a Dieng jumper with 30 seconds left off of a great read and pass by LaVine out of a double-team. A loose-ball foul was called on Dieng with just 14 seconds left, but Marcin Gortat missed both free throws.
Tayshaun Prince was subbed into the game to inbound the ball, and he found a wide open Towns under the basket for a layup and a three-point lead with 11.6 seconds remaining.
On the Wizards’ last possession, KAT played fantastic defense on Beal, forcing him to pass to Jared Dudley at the top of the key. Rubio played tough defense on Dudley’s three-point attempt and Dudley thought he got fouled, but no call was made and the Timberwolves left the Verizon Center with a well-earned ‘W’.
Tweets of the Night
Star of the Night
Zach LaVine – 25 points (10-17 FG, 5-9 3P), 4 assists, 2 steals
LaVine didn’t quite stuff the stat sheet like Towns did, but his insanely clutch shots down the stretch are what put the Wolves in position to win this game. LaVine is quickly rising up the rankings of the best-scoring guards in the NBA and it is a joy to watch.
Other Notable Timberwolves Lines
Karl-Anthony Towns – 27 points (12-21 FG, 1-2 3P, 2-2 FT), 10 rebounds, 5 assists
Gorgui Dieng – 18 points (8-11 FG, 1-2 3P, 1-1 FT), 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks, zero turnovers
Andrew Wiggins – 16 points (4-14 FG, 0-4 3P, 8-8 FT), 7 rebounds, 3 assists, one steal
Ricky Rubio – 13 points (4-12 FG, 1-5 3P, 4-4 FT), 7 assists, 5 rebounds, 2 steals, 3 turnovers
While Towns, Wiggins, LaVine, and Rubio have been getting all of the attention this year, Gorgui has quietly been very good night-in and night-out. He doesn’t get as much fanfare as the others, but his huge three tonight and his well-rounded play all season deserve some attention.
The Timberwolves will come back home to face the Jazz at the Target Center on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. Central Time. The Jazz have won six of their last eight games, including a win over the Cavaliers and a Bucks team playing really well as of late.
The Jazz still have a lot to play for, as they are in a fierce, four-team battle for the final three playoff spots in the Western Conference.
The Wolves will be looking to play spoiler as they did on Friday (the Wizards are still in the hunt for the final playoff spot in the East), so it will be another fun game. Hopefully the double-OT game tonight doesn’t leave them too tired to put up a good fight tomorrow.