Minnesota Timberwolves player grades from loss to Pelicans

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 18: Jeff Teague #0 of the Minnesota Timberwolves looks on during the game against the New Orleans Pelicans. Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 18: Jeff Teague #0 of the Minnesota Timberwolves looks on during the game against the New Orleans Pelicans. Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Timberwolves dropped their eighth game in a row, losing at home to the New Orleans Pelicans, who broke a 13-game losing streak of their own.

86. Final. 107. 69. 99

There is absolutely zero silver lining in this one, folks. The Minnesota Timberwolves are now the owners of the league’s longest active losing streak.

Karl-Anthony Towns did not suit up due to a left knee sprain that he apparently suffered late in Friday’s loss to the L.A. Clippers, and the Wolves were hardly competitive against a team that hadn’t been able to get out of their own way over the last few weeks.

From the opening tap, the Pelicans were the aggressors despite having played just 24 hours prior in an emotional overtime loss to the Brooklyn Nets.

New Orleans benefitted from a steady diet of made jumpers from Brandon Ingram, Jrue Holiday, and J.J. Redick. The Pelicans were 14-of-33 (42.4 percent) on 3-point attempts, easily outpacing the Wolves’ 10-of-39 (25.6 percent). They also dominated at the free throw line, making 17 of their 21 attempts. The Wolves made 17 free throws, too, but it took them 27 attempts to do it — just 63 percent from the charity stripe.

Minnesota’s biggest issues came in the paint, however, where they were under 40 percent entering the fourth quarter. Down 15 points at the start of the final frame, the Wolves used a quick flurry to pull within nine points before missing back-to-back point-blank attempts at the rim, only to see the Pelicans push the deficit back into double-digits.

There were exactly zero standout performers for the Wolves in this one, with only Wiggins scoring more than 15 points and needing 23 shots to get his 27 in the scoring column.

This was a miserable performance, and now the Wolves head on the road for four games away from Target Center.

Player Grades

ANDREW WIGGINS. C. There were a few impressive forays to the rim early in the game from Wiggins, but that was about it in what was ultimately a disappointing performance when the Wolves needed him to step up with Towns out. Wiggins had 27 points but shot just 9-of-23 from the floor. He had zero assists and four turnovers in 42 minutes. Minnesota needs more from Wiggins when it comes to distributing the ball and making shots in the paint.. Wing. Minnesota Timberwolves

<a rel=. Point Guard. Minnesota Timberwolves. JEFF TEAGUE. C-

C-. Okogie had three points (1-7 FG, 1-5 3P) and three rebounds, and his one made basket didn’t happen until the game was already decided in the final minutes. Again, another player who simply needs to bring more to the table. For Okogie, that means defensively, in transition, and when he gets the chance to shoot open jumpers.. Guard/Forward. Minnesota Timberwolves. JOSH OKOGIE

Minnesota Timberwolves. ROBERT COVINGTON. B. Strangely, <a rel=. Forward

<a rel=. Center. Minnesota Timberwolves. GORGUI DIENG. B+

B-. <a rel=. Guard. Minnesota Timberwolves. SHABAZZ NAPIER

B. This was actually one of <a rel=. Wing. Minnesota Timberwolves. TREVEON GRAHAM

Other Players

Keita Bates-Diop played 19 minutes but didn’t offer a whole lot. He had three points on 1-of-6 shooting and grabbed four rebounds.

Noah Vonleh played his first meaningful minutes in some time and was good, scoring seven points on 3-of-5 shooting and pulling down three boards in only 13 minutes. He provided his typically solid defense, too.

Jordan Bell had six points on 3-of-4 shooting and provided his typical burst of energy for 11 minutes.

Next. Wolves are not a fit for Dennis Smith, Jr.. dark

Up Next

The Wolves head to the Mile High City to take on the Denver Nuggets at 8 p.m. CT on Friday before heading to Portland on Saturday for the second half of a tough road back-to-back.