Player grades from Minnesota Timberwolves’ loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder

Karl-Anthony Towns and Jaylen Nowell of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Karl-Anthony Towns and Jaylen Nowell of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Timberwolves fell in disappointing fashion to a road-weary, shorthanded Oklahoma City Thunder team on Monday night.

Final. 112. 149. 103. 86

The Minnesota Timberwolves turned in one of their worst performances of the Chris Finch era on Monday night, despite the shorthanded Oklahoma City Thunder playing on the second night of a back-to-back and the final game of a long road trip.

While this was a sloppy game all the way around, the first half of Wolves-Thunder was … particularly unsightly.

The Wolves hadn’t played since Friday night, and there was clear rust to knock off. The Thunder played a Sunday matinee and returned Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to the floor after he sat out OKC’s win over the Houston Rockets, but they didn’t look much better.

The Thunder defensive game plan was to swarm Karl-Anthony Towns every time he touched the ball. It worked, and the Wolves star shot just 5-of-14 in the first half and didn’t register a single assist. Anthony Edwards didn’t score until just over nine minutes remained in the second quarter but finished the half with nine points and three assists.

The Wolves defense was a step slow, allowing the Thunder far too many open 3-point attempts and shots at the rim.

The third quarter was equally as sloppy, and the officials’ refusal to call fouls on either end of the floor only added to the muck. With only a few minutes remaining in the third, there were a total of 10 free throws attempted between both teams.

The Wolves played a little better defensively, forcing three shot-clock violations in the frame, but still gave up 26 points and played OKC to a draw.

The fourth quarter started with a 13-5 Thunder run that gave the visitors a 15-point lead with 8:38 remaining. The lead ballooned to 18 and the Wolves never pulled closer than six points a Towns missed a 3-pointer with 40 seconds left that would have cut the deficit to three.

Minnesota Timberwolves Player Grades vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

B+. This was a weird game for Towns. While easily the Wolves’ best player in this one, he still seemed a bit off. He fell hard on his wrist twice in the first half and ended up with a wrap on it at halftime. Towns was also was ultra-aggressive offensively despite double and triple-teams, occasionally to the detriment of his team. He also missed a wide-open 3-pointer with 40 seconds left that would have cut the deficit to three. Still, he finished with 33 points and 10 rebounds while nobody else on the team scored more than 16. Without him, this would have been even uglier.. Center. Minnesota Timberwolves. KARL-ANTHONY TOWNS

Wing. Minnesota Timberwolves. ANTHONY EDWARDS. C. This was a disappointing performance from Anthony Edwards. He was second on the team in scoring with 16, but it came on 16 shots. Outside of a quick second-half burst, it was a forgettable night for the No. 1 overall pick. He was a team-worst -17 in the plus-minus column and largely struggled on both ends of the floor. In a game during which the officials swallowed their whistles until a randomly determined point of the fourth quarter, Edwards was unable to get anything going at the rim and only attempted four free throws despite his 16 field goal attempts.

B. Ricky Rubio had one of the better performances for the Wolves. He had a quick first-quarter flurry in the scoring column and finished with 11 points (4-10 FG, 1-5 3P, 2-2 FT), 11 assists, five rebounds, two steals, one turnover, and had a +5 plus-minus, the second-best mark on the team and best among starters.. Point Guard. Minnesota Timberwolves. RICKY RUBIO

Minnesota Timberwolves. JAKE LAYMAN. C+. Jake Layman was back in the starting lineup and was quiet once again. He had six points on seven shots and contributed six rebounds and two assists in 17 minutes. Layman also missed his only two 3-point attempts in the game.. Forward

B-. Jarred Vanderbilt started and played 16 minutes but didn’t attempt a single shot. He did add four rebounds, two steals, an assist, and a block and was typically active.. Big. Minnesota Timberwolves. JARRED VANDERBILT

Minnesota Timberwolves. JUANCHO HERNANGOMEZ. C. Juancho Hernangomez had another quiet game, scoring five points and grabbing four rebounds. He hit a corner 3-pointer during the Wolves’ futile fourth-quarter comeback, but otherwise had another frustrating game, struggling mightily defensively.. Foward

Wing. Minnesota Timberwolves. JAYLEN NOWELL. B+. Jaylen Nowell had another strong game off the bench, scoring 14 points on 6-of-12 shooting and 2-of-5 from outside the arc. He did not attempt a free throw but pitched in three assists, a rebound, and a block and only committed one turnover. He continues to be comfortable playing in the two-man game with Towns, teasing the effectiveness that D’Angelo Russell may be able to have with KAT once he’s able to get back on the floor.

NAZ REID. B-. Naz Reid had another quiet but solid game, scoring nine points on 3-of-4 shooting including two made 3-pointers. Reid hasn’t been squeezing the trigger from beyond the arc as much of late, so it was good to see him let it fly. He pulled down five rebounds but also committed three turnovers.. Center. Minnesota Timberwolves

JOSH OKOGIE. B+. Josh Okogie had a strong game, leading the team with a +13 plus-minus and putting up seven points, three rebounds, and a whopping four steals. He did miss a couple of point-blank shots in big moments in the fourth quarter, however.. Wing. Minnesota Timberwolves

Other Notable Minnesota Timberwolves Players

Jaden McDaniels had an opportunity to play long minutes at the 3 early in the game but overall wasn’t able to have much of an impact. He shot just 1-of-5 and was only able to add one rebound, one assist, and one block in 15 minutes.

Jarrett Culver played eight first-half minutes and struggled mightily, only contributing a single rebound to the box score.

Next. Hawks asked Wolves for Beasley, first-round pick. dark

Next up for the Minnesota Timberwolves

The Wolves have a tougher test on Wednesday night, hosting the Dallas Mavericks at Target Center. Then, the trade deadline on Thursday prior to back-to-back home contests against the freefalling Houston Rockets.