Player grades from Minnesota Timberwolves’ loss to Bulls

The Chicago Bulls' Tomas Satoransky (31) drives against the Minnesota Timberwolves' Andrew Wiggins (22) . (Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
The Chicago Bulls' Tomas Satoransky (31) drives against the Minnesota Timberwolves' Andrew Wiggins (22) . (Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Timberwolves fell behind by 19 before coming back to take a lead against the Chicago Bulls but fell apart down the stretch en route to a seventh consecutive loss.

110. 86. 117. 24. Final

And just like that, the Minnesota Timberwolves have lost seven games in a row.

It was another winnable game, with the relatively healthy Wolves taking on a banged-up Chicago Bulls squad. Not only that, the Wolves trailed by 19 points in the first half but came all the way back to take a fourth-quarter lead before falling apart in the final minutes.

Early in the game, the Wolves couldn’t slow down the Bulls in the paint and struggled on the boards as well. It was a deadly combination, especially when coupled with a lack of ball movement on the offensive end of the floor.

Somehow, Minnesota managed to turn the ball over 10 times in the first quarter alone, including two instances of stepping out of bounds in the opening minutes of the game.

But if the first half was inordinately sloppy, the second half was equal parts entertaining. The Wolves shot the ball extremely well from deep until the final minutes of the game, staying above 40 percent as a team until they became desperate late.

The biggest issues in this one were once again defense and rebounding. Additionally, outside of a strong second half from Wiggins, none of the other six wings and forwards who appeared in the game for the Wolves managed to reach double figures.

Now, the Wolves head back home to try and break their latest lengthy losing streak during a difficult three-game homestand.

Player Grades

Center. Minnesota Timberwolves. KARL-ANTHONY TOWNS. B+. Karl-Anthony Towns had 22 points at halftime and finished with his first 40-point game of the season, but he also had just six rebounds and completed a fourth consecutive game without reaching double figures in boards for the first time since his rookie season. He shot 16-of-24 from the field, 4-of-8 from beyond the arc and 4-of-5 from the free throw line. Towns also had two assists and only two turnovers in 31 minutes. He struggled to control the paint on defense, rotating late as a help defender, allowing rebounds to carom to his counterpart while getting caught in no-man’s land.

Minnesota Timberwolves. ANDREW WIGGINS. B. Andrew Wiggins didn’t score until the final minutes of the second quarter, and for the second straight game went an entire half without grabbing a rebound. His final line of 25 points (10-19 FG, 4-10 3P, 1-6 FT), nine assists, five rebounds, one steal and five turnovers is absolutely a mixed bag. The free throw shooting was horrendous, although the final miss was intentional. Wiggins’ shooting touch and willingness to pass suddenly appeared in the second half, and he was a big reason the Wolves were able to put up a fight after having fallen behind by 19 points.. Wing

D. This is the first time we’ve seen back-to-back clunkers from Jarrett Culver since before Christmas. The rookie had just three points, two assists and a rebound in 25 minutes, shooting 1-of-5 from the floor. He was a bit more hesitant than we’ve grown accustomed to, and struggled to look engaged and active on defense, which was also out of character. We may be able to give Culver somewhat of a mulligan on this one, but it was a poor performance.. Guard. Minnesota Timberwolves. JARRETT CULVER

Minnesota Timberwolves. ROBERT COVINGTON. B-. Robert Covington was quiet, finishing with nine points (4-9 FG, 1-5 3P), seven rebounds, an assist and a block. His +3 plus-minus mark was second-best on the team and he was easily the Wolves’ best and most active perimeter defender not named Shabazz Napier.. Forward

A-. Speaking of Shabazz, the Wolves’ starting point guard was quite good, making his first five shots from the field and finishing with 16 points (5-6 FG, 2-3 3P, 4-4 FT), seven rebounds, five assists and two steals. This was the appropriately aggressive version of Napier who was also in the face of the Bulls’ guards defensively as well. He also got under the skin of Bulls guard Kris Dunn, which was entertaining to watch.. Guard. Minnesota Timberwolves. SHABAZZ NAPIER

Wing. Minnesota Timberwolves. JOSH OKOGIE. B. The Wolves bench struggled in this one, and while Josh Okogie was scoreless on three shot attempts, he also pitched in six assists and five steals in just 19 minutes. The minutes division between Culver, Okogie, and newcomer Allen Crabbe should remain interesting for the team being.

Other Players

Gorgui Dieng did a great job backing up Towns in this one, finishing with three points, seven rebounds, two steals, an assist and a block. With KAT taking a seat early in the third quarter with his fourth personal foul, Diegn stpped up and kept the Wolves in things.

Allen Crabbe made just one basket and was 2-of-7 from the floor, including 1-of-5 from 3-point range. He was game-worst -15 for whatever that’s worth (not much, of course).

Keita Bates-Diop had four points and Jordan McLaughlin had five and two assists in 17 minutes.

Next. The Wolves should take a cue from the Nuggets. dark

Up Next

The Wolves head home to host the mighty Houston Rockets on Friday night at 7 p.m.