Player grades from Minnesota Timberwolves’ loss at Portland Trail Blazers

The Minnesota Timberwolves dropped their sixth consecutive game, this time falling to the Portland Trail Blazers on the road.

Minnesota Timberwolves
117
Portland Trail Blazers
135

Once again, the Minnesota Timberwolves were run out of the gym without Karl-Anthony Towns.

This time, Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers put the game away before halftime as the Wolves predictably could not slow down the Blazers’ dynamic, pick-and-roll-centric attack.

Both teams struggled offensively at the start of the first quarter. The Wolves actually ran their offense fairly well but missed a number of open shots. The Blazers did the same, allowing Minnesota to hang around, even leading by a 29-28 score after the opening frame.

But the second quarter got away from the Wolves in short order, as shoddy transition defense and poor communication reared their ugly head once again. Minnesota shot a horrendous 5-of-14 at the rim in the second quarter, and the Blazers turned plenty of those missed bunnies into fastbreak points on the other end.

It was a 19-point halftime deficit for the Wolves, and the third quarter got even worse. Garbage time began midway through the frame.

The biggest issue continued to be transition defense, but there simply wasn’t much positive about this game from about midway through the second quarter through the third quarter. Total, the Wolves gave up a whopping 83 points between the two periods.

The Wolves bench at least played hard in the fourth quarter, even getting Minnesota with 16 points about halfway through the frame. Anthony Edwards and Naz Reid led the way with Jaylen Nowell seeing his first minutes of the regular season.

After seemingly making some progress against Denver over the last two games, the Wolves slid all the way back into the major issues they were having during their three consecutive blowout losses last week.

Minnesota Timberwolves Player Grades

D'ANGELO RUSSELL

Guard, Minnesota Timberwolves

B

D’Angelo Russell was a flamethrower early in the game, shooting 7-of-9 in the first half and putting up 19 points by the break. The third quarter wasn’t nearly as kind, as Russell went into true gunner mode as the team fell further behind. Predictably, DLo struggled to defend the Blazers’ dynamic backcourt, but he was hardly the only one to blame for the issues. Russell finished with 26 points on 9-of-16 shooting with three assists and three rebounds.
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MALIK BEASLEY

Wing, Minnesota Timberwolves

D

Malik Beasley had his worst game of the season, shooting a terrible 3-of-13 from the field. All three of his makes were from 3-point range, meaning he shot 0-of-7 from inside the arc. Beasley missed a couple of layups at the rim and clanked several mid-range jumpers. He wasn’t nearly as active defensively, either, and struggled mightily as the Blazers took firm control of the game in the third quarter.