Player grades from Minnesota Timberwolves’ home loss to Pelicans

D'Angelo Russell of the Minnesota Timberwolves talks to Ryan Saunders. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
D'Angelo Russell of the Minnesota Timberwolves talks to Ryan Saunders. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Timberwolves finished the homestand with their second consecutive loss, falling to the same Pelicans team they defeated less than a week ago.

107. 86. Final. 120. 69

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.

Player Grades

D'ANGELO RUSSELL. C. D’Angelo Russell followed up his worst game in a Wolves uniform with … his second-worst game in a Wolves uniform. He had 19 points (6-18 FG, 0-7 3P, 7-7 FT), six rebounds, five assists, a steal, a block, and five turnovers. Russell did have a plus-minus of +10 compared to backup Jordan McLaughlin’s -17, but it was a sloppy performance with little-to-no defensive effort.. Guard. Minnesota Timberwolves

B. Malik Beasley was good once again, although he didn’t truly get hot until things were mostly out of hand. It took him 20 field goal attempts to score 21 points, although he made four of his seven 3-point attempts. Beasley struggled a bit in the paint and from the mid-range, a couple of times passing up open 3-pointers in favor of dribbling into more difficult shots. He did pitch in nine rebounds and a steal with only one turnover.. Wing. Minnesota Timberwolves. MALIK BEASLEY

Forward. Minnesota Timberwolves. JUANCHO HERNANGOMEZ. D. Juan Hernangomez was extremely quiet, scoring just three points on 1-of-5 shooting and missing all three of his 3-point attempts. Juancho had eight rebounds, an assist and a steal but was basically non-existent on offense. He was uncharacteristically poor on defense, too, being blown by multiple times.

Minnesota Timberwolves. JOSH OKOGIE. A-. Josh Okogie had a solid all-around game. He was one of the few Wolves players to put forth something of an effort on the defensive end, and his overall line was impressive, too: 12 points, five rebounds, four assists, and three steals in 29 minutes.. Wing

Center. Minnesota Timberwolves. NAZ REID. C-. Naz Reid struggled mightily for a second consecutive game. He didn’t make a shot from the floor until the third quarter and finished with 10 points on 4-of-14 shooting and missing all five of his 3-point attempts. Reid had just five rebounds in 25 minutes.

B-. James Johnson put up 15 points (5-11 FG, 3-5 3P, 2-2 FT), five rebounds, four assists, and a block in 25 minutes. He had a strong stretch in the second half with back-to-back made 3-pointers, but he was also one of the players who had an extremely tough afternoon defensively.. Forward. Minnesota Timberwolves. JAMES JOHNSON

Other Players

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.

Next. The Wolves might have their backcourt of the future. dark

Up Next

The Wolves will be in Houston to take on the Rockets at 7 p.m. CT on Tuesday.