The Minnesota Timberwolves dropped their third consecutive game with a disappointing loss to the Washington Wizards in our nation’s capital.
The Minnesota Timberwolves entered the week needing to win at least two, if not three of a series of winnable games if they wanted to keep pace in the Western Conference playoff race.
Instead, they went 1-3 with consecutive losses in Atlanta, Indiana, and Washington after winning at home against Sacramento. Now, the Wolves are 5.5 games back from the No. 8 spot in the West with only 18 contests left to play.
It’s all but over for Minnesota, and they went with hardly a whimper in this one.
Nobody except for Karl-Anthony Towns, Taj Gibson, and Derrick Rose showed up to play consistently on offense, and there was hardly any defense played at all from the team in the black Classic jerseys.
While the Wolves led for much of the first half and took a two-point lead into halftime, the Wizards built a 13-point lead in the third quarter. Minnesota battled back to within a single possession a couple of times, but the Wizards kept stretching the margin back out to double-digits.
A final push midway through the fourth quarter was enough to do it, and the Wolves clearly rolled over and gave up as soon as things appeared to be out of reach.
It was a disappointing way for the season to effectively come to an end, and we’ll see if interim head coach Ryan Saunders can right the ship over the final five weeks of the season to make everyone feel a little bit better about things and hopefully keep his job on a permanent basis.
The rest of the players
Tyus Jones played only 18 minutes in this one. He was fine, with a line of four points, three rebounds, and two assists.
Anthony Tolliver missed four 3-point attempts in his first-half stint with the game obviously still in the balance. He reentered the game in the fourth quarter with the Wolves already well on their way to losing a promptly drained his first 3-point try. He finished with six points and two rebounds in 14 minutes.
Gorgui Dieng played for the first time since the All-Star break, notching two minutes in garbage time. Also, Cameron Reynolds made his NBA debut and scored a bucket on a one-handed runner from the baseline.
Minnesota returns home to host the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night. It’s first of two times this year that the Thunder will visit the Twin Cities, and the Wolves already have a 2-0 lead in the season series by way of two impressive victories in OKC.