The Minnesota Timberwolves bounced back from an awful offensive performance on Sunday with an overwhelming show of offensive force on Tuesday in New Orleans.
On Sunday, the Minnesota Timberwolves failed to score 100 points for the first time in their past 24 games. They were awful from everywhere: 40 percent at the free throw line, 31 percent from beyond the arc, and 36.4 percent overall from the floor.
On Tuesday in New Orleans, the Wolves bounced back in a big way. They shot 85 percent at the charity stripe, 41.2 percent on 3-point attempts, and a crazy 55.7 percent from the field.
The Pelicans suspect defense helped, of course, and while the Wolves scored 139 points — a franchise road record for a game that ends in regulation — they gave back 134 and the game went down to the wire, largely due to some of the defensive lapses that fans have grown accustomed to.
After trailing by three at the end of the first quarter, the Wolves found themselves down by a 50-38 score before the bench unit spurred an 17-1 run and propelled them to a 44-point surge in the second quarter. They led by four at halftime, and thing were looking up.
The third quarter was all New Orleans early, however, opening up multiple leads that reached seven points. But by the end of the frame, the Wolves were pushing back once again.
Jordan McLaughlin and Malik Beasley were fantastic throughout the game but were the catalysts of the Wolves’ fourth-quarter success. However, McLaughlin left the game with 8:28 left after being fouled by Zion Williamson and appearing to bang his head on Williamson’s knee. He didn’t return, but D’Angelo Russell played much better down the stretch than he did in the first half of the game.
For the Pelicans, Williamson and Jrue Holiday were the only players that scored until 2:33 was left in the game. New Orleans got within four points with 30.9 seconds left and the deficit ultimately shrunk to three with 8.9 seconds left. But Russell drained a pair of free throws to seal the deal, and that was that.
This was an impressive offensive performance from the Wolves, and despite the 134 points put up by the Pels, Minnesota competed on defense and did a decent job making Williamson work for his 25 points.
D'ANGELO RUSSELLGuard, Minnesota Timberwolves
MALIK BEASLEYWing, Minnesota Timberwolves
JUANCHO HERNANGOMEZForward, Minnesota Timberwolves
JOSH OKOGIEWing, Minnesota Timberwolves
NAZ REIDCenter, Minnesota Timberwolves
JAMES JOHNSONForward, Minnesota Timberwolves
JARRETT CULVERGuard, Minnesota Timberwolves
JORDAN MCLAUGHLINGuard, Minnesota Timberwolves
Jake Layman played 14 minutes and had two points, shooting 0-of-2 from the field and sinking a pair of free throws. He continues to struggle around the rim in his return after a three-month layoff.
Kelan Martin played only eight minutes, shooting 1-of-2 and grabbing two rebounds. He had a nice 3-point play that he completed for his three points, but still hasn’t found a way to consistently make open 3-pointes at the NBA level.
The Wolves are back at home on Wednesday night to host the Chicago Bulls in another winnable game. Tip-off is at 7 p.m. CT.