The Minnesota Timberwolves snapped a three-game losing streak with a solid road victory over the LA Clippers.
Timberwolves dominate the paint, build big lead and defeat Clippers
A night after doubling up the Los Angeles Lakers on the glass and generally controlling the paint yet still losing, the Minnesota Timberwolves were able to take advantage of their superior play this time around.
On Monday night against the LA Clippers, the Wolves built a lead that ballooned to as many as 27 points and ultimately settled at a final margin of 18. The game was largely over by halftime, in large part thanks to the Clippers’ complete and utter carelessness with the ball.
LA turned the ball over 20 times in the game, and around half of the miscues were entirely self-inflicted. While the Wolves were solid defensively, it was more parts the Clippers’ issues than it was stellar defense from Minnesota.
On offense, the Wolves were almost equally as sloppy early but eventually found a groove. Jaylen Nowell quarterbacked the second unit as the Wolves built a bid second-quarter lead while Jaden McDaniels and Taurean Prince each had strong all-around performances off the bench as well.
Anthony Edwards had another rough start to a game in his third appearance after returning from health and safety protocols, but came around in the second half and closed strong, helping the Wolves build their largest lead of the game and put the Clippers away midway through the fourth quarter.
This was exactly the type of game the Wolves needed to have as they prepare to get Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell back this week. The record is back to 17-20, and the Wolves now enter a softer part of the schedule and a chance to climb into the No. 7 or No. 8 spot in the Western Conference in the coming days.
Player grades from Timberwolves’ win over LA Clippers
Let’s hand out a few player grades from the Timberwolves’ win over the Clippers.
Jaden McDaniels: A-
17 points (7-10 FG, 4-5 3P), 3 rebounds, 3 assists
McDaniels’ confidence is suddenly off the charts on offense, which is not something that we’ve seen from the second-year forward at any point in his still-young career. He simply wasn’t hesitating to let it fly from the perimeter and was willing to put the ball on the floor when the opportunity presented itself.
He was his typically impressive self on defense, helping to lock down Reggie Jackson and the rest of the Clippers’ perimeter players.
The Wolves desperately need McDaniels to keep displaying this level of confidence once Towns and Russell return. His ability to knock down open jumpers and provide something of a threat to make defenses think twice about doubling Towns or packing the paint would be a massive help moving forward.
Taurean Prince: A
17 points (7-10 FG, 2-4 3P, 1-1 FT), 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, one block
Prince was fantastic, easily playing his best game in a Timberwolves uniform.
Largely playing with a second unit that could have easily been entirely punchless, Prince became aggressive offensively, launching from the perimeter and even putting the ball on the floor a few times. But he was active defensively, too, and played an all-around strong game.
It will be intriguing to see what the wing/forward rotation looks like in the coming days as the roster gets to full strength, and especially so after Prince and Nowell have each made their case to keep earning regular minutes.
Anthony Edwards: B
28 points (11-17 FG, 5-10 3P, 1-1 FT), 4 assists, 2 rebounds, one steal, one block, 4 turnovers
Edwards was efficient when he shot the ball, but his sloppy start to the game was unsightly, to say the least.
Still, Edwards is appearing to get his legs back underneath him, and we have to factor in that he’s been playing in lineups without Russell and Towns. He got hot in the second half and was a big part of the Wolves putting the game out of reach late.
The Wolves return back to Target Center to play host to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night in the first leg of a home-and-home.