The Minnesota Timberwolves improved their record to 3-0 due to a late push to propel them past the the previously-undefeated Miami Heat.
The Minnesota Timberwolves’ home opener started out swimmingly, as they built a double-digit lead by the end of the opening frame.
But the Miami Heat stormed back to take a halftime lead, and the Wolves couldn’t get back on top until the closing minutes of the game. That was enough, however, as they ultimately held on to win by seven and improve to 3-0 on the season.
The Wolves used yet another monster first quarter from Karl-Anthony Towns to build their 36-23 lead. Towns was scoring in the paint and from beyond the arc with ease, and the Wolves were firing on all cylinders.
The bench unit played well when Towns initially went to the bench, but it was around the time he returned to the floor midway through the second quarter that the Heat began knocking down 3-pointers from all over the court.
The Heat had a two-point lead at halftime and continued to build upon it in the third quarter. The Wolves struggled to keep Miami away from the rim for the remainder of the game. It was primarily their guards that were able to get to the basket at will, as the Wolves held the Heat big men in check for the most part and won the rebounding battle fairly easily as well.
The Heat managed to lead by as many as 10 points in the fourth quarter before the Wolves came to life. Jeff Teague showed more aggression than he has in well over a year, getting into the paint and knocking down floaters and even pulling the trigger on 3-point attempts.
Once Teague pulled the Wolves even, Andrew Wiggins made his first 3-pointer of the season, quickly followed by another and then a third, which sent Target Center and the Wolves bench into a frenzy.
Once Wiggins went off, that was that. The Heat hit a couple of late 3-pointers to extend the game, but the Wolves finally made a few free throws in a row after struggling from the charity stripe all night long.
Noah Vonleh had another great performance, finishing with eight points on a perfect 4-for-4 from the floor and grabbing three rebounds and a steal. While the Wolves struggle on the glass with Towns on the bench, Vonleh held his own against a larger Heat frontline.
Jarrett Culver had a decent game, including a couple of nice passes in the pick-and-roll game on the offensive end of the floor. He’s still looking to make his first NBA 3-pointer.
The Wolves head back out on the road after a one-game homestand, although they’ll get two days in a row off before hitting the court again. They’ll head to Philadelphia to take on the 76ers at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, and there’s a real chance that Joel Embiid will remain out with a sprained ankle.