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Well folks, here we are again. After a hard fought game by both teams, the Wolves lose to the Knicks 106-104.
1st Quarter: Towns wins the tip. So far, so good. KAT scores the first bucket of the game over Kyle O’Quinn. Kristaps Porzingis comes down the court and responds right away with a sweet mid range shot off the glass. After a run that makes the score to 16-9, Thibs is forced to call a timeout. New York shot 7-10 up to that point. Coming out of the timeout it looked like a different team. It’s weird to be saying that because they haven’t done that well coming out of the huddle so far this season. The Wolves were playing better defense, and attacking the basket at a higher rate. Minnesota gets back into the game and forces Hornacek to call a timeout with the score being 22-20 in favor of the Knicks. Coming out of the timeout, Carmelo Anthony finally scores his first points of the game with just about 2 minutes left in the 1st quarter. All in all, this quarter belongs to Karl-Anthony Towns. He scored 22 points in the first quarter and did some major work on the glass too. At the end of the 1st, Minnesota leads 31-28.
2nd Quarter: New York starts with the ball at the start of the 2nd. Right out of the gates, Porzingis converts an And-1 to tie up the game at 31-31. During one point in the quarter, Marney Gellner was interviewing Jason Castro (New Twins Catcher). She mentioned how during high school, he was his school’s all-time leader in 3 point percentage. The first thing that came into my mind was if he can play play point guard. If we get desperate, we might have to buy him out. In all seriousness though, during Castro’s interview, Zach LaVine had a phenomenal breakaway dunk. You couldn’t hear a word Marney Gellner was saying over the roar of the crowd.
Porzingis also had some highlights himself in the quarter. His most memorable was when he blocked Shabazz.
After the big block by Porzingis, New York went on a 10-2 run and was forced to burn a timeout with 5:45 left in the 2nd. Score was 48-40 with New York leading. Courtney Lee left the game during the timeout and never came back due to an ankle injury. The Knicks outscored the Timberwolves 30-18 in the second quarter. New York took a 58-49 lead into the locker room.
3rd Quarter: The third quarter was a constant back and forth between the two teams. Wiggins opened up the quarter with a 3 pointer. Minnesota had a 3rd quarter fight in them like we haven’t seen this season. They were playing defense and attacking the rim. At one point, Minnesota was 12/12 at the free throw line around the 5 minute mark. The Wolves ended up winning the quarter 23-25. Going into the 4th quarter the score was 81-74.
4th Quarter: Starting off the 4th quarter, New York got an early And-1. Never a good way to start off. New York then hit a couple three pointers back to back that caused Thibs to use a timeout. Minnesota’s offense looked very dysfunctional. It was like no one knew what play they were running. Nobody on defense was rotating, nobody was switching on screens, and I even saw a collision between two Minnesota players. At this point I was about to throw in the towel. So therefore I’m scrolling through my Twitter timeline and I see this stat pop up.
Think about this, 3-130 in the last 3+ years when the Wolves are down double digits in the 4th quarter.
Once again coming out of the timeout, it seemed like something lit a fire underneath Minnesota. We closed the gap down to a 9 point Knicks lead with 6:23 to go. As the game went on, the Wolves went on a run of their own and tied the game up at 102-102. Of course, the first thing that came into my mind was, “Ha! Take that statistics, make that 4-130 in the last 3+ years”. Melo has the ball with roughly 25 seconds left in the game. With 2.3 seconds left he makes a jumpshot to give New York the lead. Minnesota calls back-to-back timeouts to get the right play. We had 2.3 seconds for an inbound pass and a shot. From here it was all downhill, we looked like the bad news bears. Nobody knew what they were doing. We ended up not even being able to get a shot off and we turned it over. If someone asked me what it was like to be a Minnesota sports fan, I would show them the last 2.3 seconds of that game. We were once down 17 points, to be built back up, and torn down again. Timberwolves won the quarter 30-25, but it wasn’t enough. Minnesota loses to New York 106-104.
Game Takeaways: Now this is the area where I try hard not to complain, but end up sharing my opinion anyway.
1: I know I wasn’t the only one who noticed the Timberpups were pump-faking so many wide open threes, driving in, and then turning it over. In fact, I saw someone here at HTW tweet their frustration of this at the same time I was thinking it. Now I realize they were trying to make something happen and work the clock a little bit, but in our position, just take the shot dude. The Golden State Warriors pull up frequently. Now I’m not saying we are the Golden State Warriors, but between the Wolves and Warriors, only one of us has a ring.
2: Can we just take a moment and appreciate Mindaugas Kuzminskas. This guy came off the bench for New York and seemed to outplay us. I felt like every other play he was scoring on us. He put up solid numbers off the bench. Kazminskas played 19 minutes and had 14 points. Not bad young blood.
3: Bench Points were a huge factor in the loss tonight. Now I realize we played our starters 40+ minutes and we were feeding the hot hand of Karl-Anthony Towns, but we only scored 5 bench points tonight. Yes, you read that right. 5 points off of the bench. I realize we have bench problems, but seriously?
4: Ending on a happy note, congratulations to Karl-Anthony Towns on having himself a career night. 47 points and 18 rebounds. Keep eating big fella. Keep eating…