The Minnesota Timberwolves got back on track with an overtime win over the Washington Wizards, although a knee injury suffered by Karl-Anthony Towns is the bigger concern.
The Minnesota Timberwolves trailed for much of the game before taking a late lead, only to see the Wizards force overtime after Karl-Anthony Towns headed to the locker room with an injured right knee.
There was no immediate update on Towns’ condition after the game, other than interim head coach Ryan Saunders saying that Towns was walking around the locker room and would undergo further testing.
If and when any news breaks regarding the severity of Towns’ injury, we’ll have reaction here at DWW. For now, let’s talk about the game.
The Wolves trailed big early, falling behind by as many as 16 points in the first half. They dug themselves a hole by once again showing pure disdain for playing defense while only being able to rely on Towns on offense.
Andrew Wiggins sat out due to a quad contusion, which pressed Keita Bates-Diop into his first start at the NBA level. While solid throughout the game, the offense only ran through Towns in this one, and early in the game, the Wizards keyed in on KAT with immediate double-teams.
Towns handled them well for the most part, passing the ball to the open man consistently and occasionally splitting the double team and scoring over and around the defense.
Nobody else came to the part on offense, however. Towns finished with 40 points, while the other four starters combined to score 35 points.
Thankfully, Taj Gibson (15 points and 13 rebounds) and Derrick Rose (29 points) played exceedingly well off the bench and were key in the Wolves’ comeback, which largely took place in the third quarter.
Minnesota finally tied the game partway through the fourth quarter, and after building a two possession lead in the final minute of the game, things seemed safe. But a quick bucket from the Wizards, followed by Towns’ injury and Bates-Diop making one of two free throws, Bradley Beal drained a 3-pointer to send the game to overtime.
Somehow, the Wolves mustered the energy to stick with it and emerge victorious in overtime despite the injury to Towns looming over the period. Rose came up huge, and the Wolves were able to hang on.
The rest of the players
Tyus Jones played 19 minutes and was his typically solid self, although there were a couple rocky possessions mixed in as the Wolves were attempting their second-half comeback.
Cameron Reynolds, fresh off inking his second 10-day contract, played 20 important minutes that included an awesome first-half stretch with a steal, a block, and a 3-pointer. Overall, he had five points, one rebound, one steal, and one block while shooting 2-of-6 from the floor.
The Wolves will turn around and host the New York Knicks at 7 p.m. CT on Sunday. The Wolves beat the Knicks at Madison Square Garden in the first game after the All-Star break, but it certainly seems unlikely that they’ll have Towns at their disposal this time around.