Player grades from Timberwolves’ road loss to Utah Jazz

Donovan Mitchell dominated the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)
Donovan Mitchell dominated the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Timberwolves put up a fight but they ultimately couldn’t hang with the Utah Jazz on the road as Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell remained sidelined.

Short-handed Timberwolves fall on the road to the Utah Jazz

On Friday night in Salt Lake City, the Minnesota Timberwolves played without Karl-Anthony Towns for the fourth consecutive game and without D’Angelo Russell for the third straight.

Anthony Edwards came back and played well, but ultimately, Donovan Mitchell was too much and the Wolves couldn’t overcome a massive free throw deficit as they fell victim to a massive fourth-quarter run from the Jazz.

The Wolves struggled offensively early and defensive in the second quarter and trailed by 13 points at halftime, but they played a strong third quarter on both ends of the floor, outscoring the home team by 14 and taking a one-point lead into the fourth quarter.

But Mitchell put the pedal to the metal and almost single-handedly pulled the Jazz away from the Wolves, leading a 22-0 Jazz run as Utah put the game away before the midway point in the final frame.

Player grades from Timberwolves’ road loss to Utah Jazz

Let’s take a look at a few Timberwolves player grades from the road loss.

Anthony Edwards: B

26 points (9-21 FG, 4-10 3P, 4-5 FT), 3 rebounds, 2 assists

It’s hard to blame Edwards for this loss. The Timberwolves lone available star player was solid overall offensively but struggled to make an impact in the paint and didn’t do much besides shoot the ball.

Edwards was playing his first game in over two weeks and didn’t show much rust, scoring 26 points on 21 shots and draining four 3-pointers. He only pulled down three rebounds, however, and fouled out in just 31 minutes. He also didn’t draw many whistles in the paint, but that was hardly unique to Edwards on a night in which the Jazz attempted a whopping 41 free throws compared to the Wolves’ 18.

Malik Beasley: B+

22 points (8-16 FG, 6-14 3P), 3 rebounds, 2 assists, one steal

Similar thoughts here for Beasley — not exactly his fault. It was a fine performance from Beasley after a pair of clunkers at home against Boston and New York.

While Beasley didn’t do much except launch threes, well, that’s pretty much what the Wolves signed him to do. He was solid early in the game and helped the Wolves hang tough, but was quiet as the Jazz pulled away in the fourth quarter. Notably, this was the third consecutive game in which Beasley did not manage to garner a single free throw attempt.

Jaylen Nowell: C

10 points (4-12 FG, 0-3 3P, 2-4 FT), 5 assists, 2 rebounds, one steal

Jaylen Nowell had a second consecutive disappointing performance, shooting just 33 percent from the field and somehow fouling out in just 18 minutes.

He struggled mightily defensively, and it wasn’t just the personal fouls. He was simply dominated on the perimeter, providing very little resistance as the Wolves struggled at the point of attack all night long. He wasn’t good offensively, either, missing all his attempts beyond the arc and making only two of his four free throw attempts.

dark. Next. Year In Review: The Timberwolves in 2021

The Wolves will be in Los Angeles on Sunday to take on the Lakers before staying at Staples Center to face the Clippers on Monday.