Minnesota Timberwolves: Player grades from loss to Pistons

DETROIT, MI - MARCH 6: Derrick Rose #25 of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - MARCH 6: Derrick Rose #25 of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Timberwolves continued their road struggles with a loss to the streaking Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night.

131. 64. Final. 114. 86

The Minnesota Timberwolves lost their fourth game in their last five tries after falling apart late in Detroit and allowing the Pistons to win with ease.

The Wolves build a 16-point lead in the first half but Detroit went on a run that started with Karl-Anthony Towns resting on the bench and tied the game. A late first-half push from Minnesota gave them a 64-60 lead at the break.

But Andre Drummond asserted himself in the third quarter as Towns picked up three quick fouls, giving him four for the game and sending him to the pine with a few minutes left in the third.

Detroit quickly built a comfortable lead that ballooned on a seven-point possession early in the fourth quarter. Taj Gibson was called for a flagrant-2 foul while trying to box-out Drummond as the Pistons made a shot. Drummond made the and-one free throw and another free throw following a technical on Ryan Saunders, and then a 3-pointer gave the Pistons a 7-0 run without Minnesota so much as touching the ball.

The game was all but over at that point, but Towns still managed to get called for two quick fouls of his own and fouled out in short order.

For as great as the Wolves played early, the defensive intensity disappeared entirely in the second half, and the Wolves allowed the Pistons to get physical and push them around. The officiating didn’t help matters, but it was simply a case of the more aggressive team getting the benefit of the doubt when the whistle was blown.

B. This was Karl-Anthony Towns’ worst game in a while. He had 13 points in the first half and was active, getting to the free throw line and touching the ball on offense. But he missed a few easy shots around the rim and fumbled more than a couple passes. It seemed to be a night in which Towns was just slightly off all the way around. He still finished with 24 points (7-14 FG, 3-6 3P, 7-7 FT) but only pulled down four rebounds and chipped in two assists and two blocks, which both came in the opening minute of the game. Towns continues to struggle in matching up with Andre Drummond as well.. Center. Minnesota Timberwolves. KARL-ANTHONY TOWNS

B+. <a href=. Guard/Forward. Minnesota Timberwolves. ANDREW WIGGINS

B-. Decent but overall quiet games are becoming the norm for <a rel=. Power Forward. Minnesota Timberwolves. DARIO SARIC

Minnesota Timberwolves. JEFF TEAGUE. B. <a href=. Point Guard

Minnesota Timberwolves. DERRICK ROSE. C. Outside of a nice third-quarter burst, this was a quiet game for <a rel=. Guard

C+. <a rel=. Guard/Forward. Minnesota Timberwolves. JOSH OKOGIE

B+. Taj Gibson was having a great game until his dust-up with Drummond in the fourth quarter. He finished with 10 points on 5-of-8 shooting in 15 minutes but only had one rebound and one assist.. Power Forward. Minnesota Timberwolves. TAJ GIBSON

The rest of the players

Anthony Tolliver and Tyus Jones played 20 minutes each and were both okay, with A.T. tallying 10 points and six rebounds and Jones dishing out six assists. Ish Smith scored at will in his 27 minutes of playing time, however, and both Tolliver and Jones were partially responsible for that outburst.

Ketia Bates-Diop had a mostly inconsequential night in 16 minutes, although he had a nice block and did get to the free throw line for four attempts.

Gorgui Dieng and Cameron Reynolds both played in garbage time with Gorgui coming away with five points and two for Reynolds.

Next. Best-case scenario for Wolves' finish to season. dark

What’s Next?

The Wolves head home to host the Washington Wizards on Saturday night 7 p.m. Central Time.