Timberwolves bench mob stops the bleeding
Minnesota’s starters may not have come out of the gate ready to play, but its reserves sure did.
When the first quarter kicked off, the Wolves found themselves down 37-26 and in need of answers. By the halftime buzzer, Minnesota led by three, and that was in large part due to assured minutes from its bench players.
Jaden McDaniels continued his strong play of late while other Wolves floundered in the first quarter, shooting confidently and dropping a sweet driving pass to Towns for a flush. He tied his season-high of four 3-pointers less than four minutes into the second quarter and finished with 17 points with 5-of-7 shooting from downtown.
Jordan McLaughlin exuded a sense of control Minnesota desperately needed after the disastrous start. He made a floater to open the second quarter then assisted on Minnesota’s next five baskets as the offense came unstuck with the reserves in.
Taurean Prince did his part by playing stout defense and complementary offense, while Malik Beasley hit a few threes. Overall, the bench’s impact went far beyond the 36 first-half points: Their energy and confidence challenged the starters to play with a similar swagger when they came back in.