Minnesota Timberwolves: Player grades from loss to Trail Blazers

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 1: Karl-Anthony Towns #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 1: Karl-Anthony Towns #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images) /

For the third straight game, the Minnesota Timberwolves came from behind and knocked out a massive deficit, but for the second consecutive time, they failed to come out with the win.

122. 86. 132. 34. Final

The Minnesota Timberwolves have played terribly on defense early in the last three games, but have been equally as impressive for much of the rest of the games on both ends of the floor.

Unfortunately, 20-point holes are hard to dig out of, no matter how good the offense is as the game wears on.

For the third consecutive game, the Wolves dug themselves a massive hole early in the game, this time trailing by as many as 21 points. And for the third straight time, they were able to dig out, even building a modest five-point lead in the second half of this one.

But Portland, who is jockeying for playoff position in the Western Conference surged back ahead and quickly regained a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter. An off night from Karl-Anthony Towns was really all it took for the Wolves to succumb as the game wore on.

The Trail Blazers got a weird triple-double from bench player Evan Turner, who tallied 13 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists in just 25 minutes. Minnesota did a decent job defensively on Damian Lillard, who finished with 15 points on just 6-of-17 shooting and committed five turnovers but dished out 12 assists.

The Wolves were led in scoring by inefficient performances from Andrew Wiggins (21 points on 18 shots) and Towns (17 points on 21 shots). Gorgui Dieng was actually the team’s second-leading scorer with 18 points off the bench; Dieng was a huge part of the third-quarter comeback on both ends of the floor.

At the end of the day, despite the second-half flurry, the Wolves were simply out-manned, even by a battered Blazers squad.

Center. Minnesota Timberwolves. KARL-ANTHONY TOWNS. C+. Karl-Anthony Towns had his third consecutive sub-par game, this time ending up with 17 points (6-21 FG, 1-4 3P, 4-4 FT), 12 rebounds, four assists and two blocks. He struggled to keep <a rel=

ANDREW WIGGINS. B-. Wiggins did more Wiggins things, which of course means that he scored 20-plus points but was inefficient in doing so, made a few impressive offensive plays, and continued to show marginal improvement on the glass. Wiggins collected seven rebounds and four assists and was generally one of the Wolves best three or four players on the night.. Guard/Forward. Minnesota Timberwolves

B. Saric had a good game but disappeared after the Wolves built their slim lead late in the game. He finished with 13 points (5-8 FG, 2-4 3P, 1-1 FT) but only pulled down two rebounds in 28 minutes. Saric also had two assists.. Power Forward. Minnesota Timberwolves. DARIO SARIC

Okogie was tasked with guarding Lillard for most of the night. He succeeded for the most part, although the mismatch that <a rel=. Guard/Forward. Minnesota Timberwolves. JOSH OKOGIE. B-

B+. Jones had a good night. He struggled defensively for much of the game but was great on offense, finishing with 14 points on 7-of-12 shooting, scoring at will on the drive in the second half after knocking down a few long jumpers in the first half. He was a team-high +3 when on the floor while backup <a rel=. Point Guard. Minnesota Timberwolves. TYUS JONES

Forward. Minnesota Timberwolves. ANTHONY TOLLIVER. C. Outside of a pair of made threes on six attempts, Tolliver struggled in this one, finishing with six points and just one rebound in 20 minutes and logging a -10 on the night.

Gorgui Dieng was awesome yet again, putting up 18 points (7-8 FG, 1-1 3P, 3-4 FT), four rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block in just 16 minutes. His stint in the third quarter was fantastic, featuring a dunk, a few jump shots, a corner three, and an impressive blocked shot as the Wolves were turning the tide. Unfortunately, the Blazers fought back in short order.. Center. Minnesota Timberwolves. GORGUI DIENG. A-

Minnesota Timberwolves. JERRYD BAYLESS. C+. Bayless had a second consecutive up-and-down performance. On Monday, that meant 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting and six assists in 15 minutes, but poor defense throughout his stint. While he is often in the right place at the right time on both ends of the floor, Bayless’ shot selection remains questionable more often than not.. Point Guard

The rest of the players

Keita Bates-Diop played only 13 minutes and had seven points and one rebound, while Cameron Reynolds had seven points, two rebounds, one steal and one assist in 21 minutes.

Newcomer Mitch Creek, who signed a 10-day contract over the weekend, did not see the floor although he was active at the expensive of veteran two-way contract player C.J. Williams.

dark. Next. The strategy behind the head coach search

What’s Next?

The Timberwolves head to Dallas to take on the Mavericks at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday. We’ll have game coverage for y’all, so stay tuned.