Minnesota Timberwolves: Player grades from Wolves win over Clippers

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - FEBRUARY 11: Derrick Rose #25 of the Minnesota Timberwolves hi-fives Karl-Anthony Towns #32. Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - FEBRUARY 11: Derrick Rose #25 of the Minnesota Timberwolves hi-fives Karl-Anthony Towns #32. Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Timberwolves snapped a four-game losing streak with a 10-point win over the Los Angeles Clippers — one of the teams the Wolves are chasing for the eighth and final playoff spot.

86. Final. 120. 77. 130

The Minnesota Timberwolves came into Monday’s game having lost six of their last seven games and four in a row, with the only win during that stretch coming on a Karl-Anthony Towns buzzer-beater over Memphis.

The Wolves and Clippers played a tight first half before Minnesota took an eight-point lead into halftime. The Timberwolves kept their run going into the third quarter, eventually stretching it to 22-3 spanning the break and building a 23-point lead.

But things spiraled quickly, and given that the Clippers had already overcome two deficits of 20-plus points on their current road trip, Wolves fans were right to be nervous.

Los Angeles pulled to within a single possession on multiple occasions as Lou Williams was able to get to the free throw line seemingly every time down the court. He finished the game with 45 points and shot a perfect 16-for-16 from the charity stripe, but it was the Wolves who were able to put up consecutive stops in the final three minutes as Towns returned to the court with five personal fouls and scored a couple of consecutive buckets for the Wolves.

The ability of the Wolves to withstand the Clippers’ run and surge ahead by double-digits in the final minutes was certainly impressive, and it was due to strong play from a number of Wolves players.

A-. Karl-Anthony Towns had a quiet 24 points and 10 rebounds, attempting just 11 shots on the night and playing only 27 minutes due to foul trouble. He was effective when he touched the ball, however, and made some big baskets down the stretch.. Center. Minnesota Timberwolves. KARL-ANTHONY TOWNS

A. <a rel=. Power Forward. Minnesota Timberwolves. DARIO SARIC

B+. <a rel=. Point Guard. Minnesota Timberwolves. JEFF TEAGUE

A-. <a rel=. Guard. Minnesota Timberwolves. DERRICK ROSE

Minnesota Timberwolves. LUOL DENG. B+. With <a rel=. Forward

A. Taj Gibson came off the bench but was forced into the game before the 10-minute mark in the first quarter. He had a much-needed big game, shooting a perfect 5-of-5 from the field and putting up 14 points and three rebounds in 21 minutes.. Power Forward. Minnesota Timberwolves. TAJ GIBSON

Minnesota Timberwolves. GORGUI DIENG. B. <a rel=. Forward/Center

The rest of the players

Josh Okogie started and played 27 minutes, shooting 3-of-6 from the field and putting up 10 points, four rebounds, and two steals. He was active as usual and solid offensively before leaving the game and heading to the locker room in the second half with what was apparently an undisclosed injury.

Jerryd Bayless struggled in this one, finishing with two points, two assists, and four personal fouls in 15 minutes. Fresh off his second 10-day contract, Isaiah Canaan played just five second-half minutes and missed his only shot attempt while contributing one beautiful assist to Dario Saric on an important 3-point make.

The Timberwolves miss Robert Covington. dark. Next

What’s Next?

The Wolves will host the Houston Rockets at 7 p.m. CT on Wednesday in a game that will be televised on ESPN.