The Minnesota Timberwolves continued their road struggles with a loss to the streaking Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night.
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.
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.
The Wolves head home to host the Washington Wizards on Saturday night 7 p.m. Central Time.