The short-handed Minnesota Timberwolves were beat with relative ease by the mighty Denver Nuggets on Tuesday night in the Mile High City.
On Tuesday night in Denver, the Minnesota Timberwolves were without Jeff Teague, Derrick Rose, and Andrew Wiggins while Robert Covington remained sidelined.
As it turns out, missing four of your top six rotation players matters. A lot. Especially when you’re facing one of the best three or four teams in the NBA.
Karl-Anthony Towns once again led the team, putting up 34 points, 10 rebounds, three blocks, and three assists. Tyus Jones was the second-leading scorer on the team with 16 points and was the only other starter to make it to double-figures.
Put simply, the Nuggets are a great team, and play together beautifully. The excellence of Nikola Jokic was on full display, as the All-Star big man had 18 points, eight rebounds and seven assists while effectively running the point in Denver’s offense.
The Wolves weren’t really ran off the floor until the fourth quarter as Towns was dominant early, getting Jokic into fairly quick foul trouble. It’s simply too much to ask for Towns to lift a starting lineup with Josh Okogie (zero points), Keita Bates-Diop (nine points) and Dario Saric (nine points) not carrying their weight offensively.
While Saric is almost surely the team’s starting power forward next year, none of the rest of the starting lineup from Tuesday will be intact in those roles come October.
That said, Towns continues to be a monster, and it would be a travesty if he didn’t make an All–NBA squad.
The rest of the players
Cameron Reynolds played 25 minutes and attempted all seven of his field goals from beyond the arc, knocking down four of them. He also pitched in two assists, two steals, and a rebound and was solid for the most part.
Jerryd Bayless was forced into action as the backup point guard and had a rough go of it, shooting 2-of-8 in 22 minutes and only dishing out two assists.
Two-way player C.J. Williams played a surprising 18 minutes and was productive, finishing with 11 points on 5-of-8 shooting, four assists, and two steals.
Gorgui Dieng played four minutes in garbage time and had four points and two rebounds.
The Timberwolves continue their road trip in Utah on Thursday night. Tip-off is at 8 p.m. CT.