The Minnesota Timberwolves finished the homestand with their second consecutive loss, falling to the same Pelicans team they defeated less than a week ago.
Two steps forward, two steps back.
After winning two straight games early last week, including a victory over the Pelicans in New Orleans, the Minnesota Timberwolves finished their homestand with a pair of defense-less losses.
The Wolves provided little defensive resistance as Jrue Holiday put up a season-high 37 points, Lonzo Ball had an easy 18 points and seven assists, and rookie sensation Zion Williamson had 23 points and seven rebounds.
The Pelicans were only 11-of-36 (31.4 percent) from 3-point range but still shot 48.9 percent from the game on the backs of a dominant performance in the paint. New Orleans out-rebounded the Wolves by a 54 to 42 margin and saw their guards get to the rim at will throughout the game.
The Wolves trailed by a score of 36-29 after the first quarter and after taking a brief lead in the second quarter, they trailed by eight points at halftime. Thing started to unravel in the third quarter, alternating awful defense with empty offensive trips.
Malik Beasley led the way for the Wolves with 21 points but did most of his damage as the Wolves were trying desperately to dig their way out of a double-digit deficit late in the game. D’Angelo Russell’s 19 points came on 18 shots and he was 0-for-7 from beyond the arc.
After dropping two games to under-.500 teams, the Wolves now head out on their longest road trip of the season, beginning with a tough task in Houston on Tuesday night.
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
Jake Layman had another strong game, scoring 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting and throwing down a one-handed, poster-worthy dunk over Derrick Favors on the right baseline. Most of his damage was done in a short stretch during the second quarter, and he only had one rebound, one steal, and not much else to speak of. But that dunk, though…
Jarrett Culver had 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting with three rebounds and a pair of steals. He was also decent defensively, along with Okogie and Layman.
Jordan McLaughlin scored six points on four shot attempts. He also had three turnovers to only two assists in 17 minutes. Jaylen Nowell played only nine minutes in place of Kelan Martin, who missed the game with a sprained ankle. Nowell had two assists and two steals but did not score.
The Wolves will be in Houston to take on the Rockets at 7 p.m. CT on Tuesday.