Minnesota Timberwolves: Player grades from loss to Jazz

Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves drives past Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves drives past Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Timberwolves lost their second consecutive road game, this time falling to the Utah Jazz by a final score of 120-100.

120. 118. Final. 100. 86

The Minnesota Timberwolves didn’t arrive in Salt Lake City until Thursday morning for the game on Thursday evening, despite not playing since Tuesday night in Denver.

The “bomb cyclone” that brought blizzard conditions in Colorado prevented the Wolves’ charter plane from getting off the ground, and after 10 hours at the airport on Wednesday the team returned to the hotel, not heading to Utah until Thursday.

Even though the Jazz played on Wednesday night in Phoenix, the Wolves looked every bit as road-weary during Thursday’s game.

The tilt was close much of the way, with the Jazz frequently flirting with double-digit leads. They were unable to blow the game wide open until late in the fourth quarter, right around the time when Karl-Anthony Towns was disqualified with six personal fouls after a questionable charging call was whistled on the Wolves’ All-Star.

Tyus Jones started at point guard again with Jeff Teague missing his second-straight game and was awesome early, leading the team in scoring at halftime. But he only scored one bucket in the second half and Towns had little help from the rest of the team.

Andrew Wiggins was the second-leading scorer in his return from a four-game absence due to injury, but it took him 17 shots to get his 14 points. Only two other Wolves players managed to reach double digits in scoring: Jones with 12 points and Dario Saric with 10.

The Jazz were able to get anything they wanted offensively, draining open 3-pointer after open 3-pointer. When they couldn’t get an open three, Rudy Gobert or Derrick Favors found themselves receiving lob passes at the rim and getting easy buckets.

Let’s take a look at a few player grades.

A-. Karl-Anthony Towns had another solid game, although it got off to a bit of a slow start and ended early. Towns finished with 26 points (9-15 FG, 3-4 3P, 5-7 FT), 12 rebounds, four assists, one steal in just 27 minutes. Once again, Towns had impressive, unstoppable stretches but sabotaged himself with foul trouble.. Center. Minnesota Timberwolves. KARL-ANTHONY TOWNS

Minnesota Timberwolves. TYUS JONES. B+. Tyus Jones got off to a strong start, scoring 10 of his 12 points in the first half. He shot 6-of-9 from the field and dished out nine assists in 29 minutes and was generally solid, although his minutes played along <a rel=. Point Guard

C. For the second straight game, Saric found himself with less playing time than <a rel=. Power Forward. Minnesota Timberwolves. DARIO SARIC

Minnesota Timberwolves. JOSH OKOGIE. C. Josh Okogie started but played only 16 minutes, scoring two points on 1-of-2 shooting and grabbing one rebound. What could have been an opportunity to have Okogie shadow Utah’s <a rel=. Guard/Forward

C. <a rel=. Power Forward. Minnesota Timberwolves. TAJ GIBSON

Minnesota Timberwolves. ANTHONY TOLLIVER. C. <a rel=. Forward

B-. Keita Bates-Diop moved back to the bench upon Wiggins’ return and had six points on seven shots, missing all three of his 3-point attempts. He also had four rebounds and an assist and had one impressive drive to the rim with a Euro-step that got him an easy bucket.. Forward. Minnesota Timberwolves. KEITA BATES-DIOP

The rest of the players

Cameron Reynolds played 18 minutes and scored his only bucket on his first shot of the game — a nice runner that he banked in off the glass. Then, he missed four straight shots including both of his 3-point attempts. He only pitched in one rebound, one assist, and one steal and finished the game with a plus-minus of -14.

Jerryd Bayless struggled again as the primary backup point guard, although Ryan Saunders left him out there to play off the ball some in the second half nonetheless. He finished with eight points on 4-of-9 shooting with four assists, three rebounds, and two steals but also committed four turnovers in 23 minutes.

Gorgui Dieng played nine minutes that were split between the second quarter and garbage time, with the former stint including a few minutes alongside Towns in a twist straight out of the 2016-17 season, He played well overall, scoring eight points and pulling down a couple of rebounds.

Two-way players C.J. Williams and Jared Terrell each received three minutes of playing time in garbage time. Neither scored or recorded any other stats.

Next. Remaining silver linings to Wolves' season.... dark

What’s Next?

The Timberwolves have two days off and won’t play until they visit Houston at 8 p.m. on Sunday. The game will be televised on ESPN.