The Minnesota Timberwolves led for much of the game but lost late to the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday.
Minnesota Timberwolves’ fall late to Phoenix Suns
Wednesday’s game against the Phoenix Suns was about as good a test as Finch could ask for.
The Wolves went blow-for-blow with the NBA’s best team in a contest that demanded Minnesota match a high level of play and intensity while keeping its cool. The Wolves fulfilled their side of the basketball performance for much of the night, but as has often been the case, the composure didn’t match the ability in the 125-116 loss.
Things really kicked off with less than a minute remaining in the first half, when Karl-Anthony Towns drove for a poster dunk over Jae Crowder. The two got in each other’s faces on the way back up the court, beginning a stretch where three technical fouls and a flagrant were called in the final 40 seconds of the half.
With emotions running high and a loudly dissatisfied Target Crowd getting after the officials, the game could have gone off the rails for either team at that point. Phoenix went to the NBA Finals last season while Minnesota is still trying to establish itself as a winning team, so it isn’t particularly surprising the Suns were the squad to maintain elite execution in winning the second half 74-52.
“For a large part of the game, we played well, we did a lot of the things we talked about,” Finch said on Wolves Live Postgame. “But we have to learn to play all the way through against these types of teams.”
The Wolves picked up four technicals and a flagrant as they got carried away with aggressive play and complaining, but the diluted focus showed itself most in the second-half defense. The Suns consistently got easy looks, and Minnesota turnovers led to some punctuation marks from Devin Booker.
Here are player grades from the loss.