Minnesota Timberwolves: Player grades from loss to Atlanta Hawks

ATLANTA, GA - FEBRUARY 27: Karl-Anthony Towns #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves and John Collins #20 of the Atlanta Hawks. Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Jasear Thompson/NBAE via Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - FEBRUARY 27: Karl-Anthony Towns #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves and John Collins #20 of the Atlanta Hawks. Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Jasear Thompson/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Timberwolves fell in a devastating overtime loss to the Hawks in Atlanta on Wednesday night by a score of 131-123.

86. 131. 125. Final. 123

The Minnesota Timberwolves entered Wednesday night just three games out of the No. 8 playoff spot in the Western Conference. With a week full of winnable games and a win over Sacramento on Monday night in their pocket, it was looking like the Wolves could gain some ground.

Unfortunately, the Atlanta Hawks had other ideas. Despite the Wolves building a lead that hovered near double digits for much of the game and reached 13 points early in the fourth quarter, the Hawks battled back to force overtime and sweep the season series against Minnesota.

This was a fun game to watch until crunch time became sloppy for both teams. The Wolves and Hawks traded disorganized possessions, missed free throws, and shoddy defense.

Ultimately, it was a missed old-fashioned 3-point play from Towns and a poor defensive possession from Josh Okogie that allowed the game to be tied with 20 seconds remaining.

After a timeout, the Wolves ran a Derrick RoseKarl-Anthony Towns pick-and-roll that didn’t leave enough space for Rose to operate. He forced a runner from near the elbow that missed badly, and the game went into overtime with the momentum on the side of the home Hawks.

The Hawks took control quickly in the extra frame, and it was all but over with around two minutes left on the clock.

The Wolves now must turn around and win less than 24 hours later in Indiana against a solid Pacers squad and on Sunday in Washington against the Wizards. Then, the schedule gets much more difficult…

Center. Minnesota Timberwolves. KARL-ANTHONY TOWNS. A-. Karl-Anthony Towns was awesome, dropping an efficient 37 points (12-19 FG, 5-9 3P, 8-13 FT) and adding 18 rebounds, three assists, and one block. He was great early and late, with the only issues being foul trouble that came on rapidly in the second half and the uncharacteristic five missed free throws, including one that would have put the Wolves up by three in the final minute. But no matter how you slice it, this was yet another put-the-team-on-his-back performance from the Wolves’ lone All-Star.

B-. This was a pretty average Wiggins game. He scored 21 points but took 20 shots to get there. He only grabbed three rebounds and had one steal, one block, and one assist. But Wiggins also made a couple of big shots down the stretch and had a huge strip on <a rel=. Guard/Forward. Minnesota Timberwolves. ANDREW WIGGINS

In what was somewhat of a homecoming game from Josh Okogie, who went to high school near Atlanta and attended Georgia Tech. He didn’t disappoint, dropping 15 points and grabbing four rebounds and two steals in 33 minutes.. Guard/Forward. Minnesota Timberwolves. JOSH OKOGIE. B

Minnesota Timberwolves. TAJ GIBSON. A. <a rel=. Power Forward

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

C+. <a rel=. Point Guard. Minnesota Timberwolves. TYUS JONES

B. Derrick Rose started this game on fire, converting on a bevy of mid-range jumpers and drives to the rim. But his shot flattened out as the game went on, and Rose still insisted on forcing the issue far too often. Rose finished with 18 points on 17 shots and also had six rebounds and six assists. The final play was more an issue with coaching and play-call than on Rose, but it would have been nice to see him not drive into the most congested are on the court if possible.. Guard. Minnesota Timberwolves. DERRICK ROSE

D. <a rel=. Point Guard. Minnesota Timberwolves. JERRYD BAYLESS

The rest of the players

Anthony Tolliver was coming off of a monster game against Sacramento and played 19 minutes in this one. He only made two threes en route to a final line of six points.

Luol Deng played eight first-half minutes before heading to the locker room with what the team termed as a “sore left Achilles.”

Next. 5 storylines to watch over final weeks of Wolves' season. dark

What’s Next?

The Timberwolves have to forget about this one in a hurry as the head to Indianapolis to take on the Pacers at 6 p.m. Central Time on Thursday night.