Third quarter troubles haunt Wolves in 112-92 loss to Thunder

Third quarter troubles haunt Wolves in 112-92 loss to Thunder


Third quarter troubles haunt Wolves in 112-92 loss to Thunder


New game, same story for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Wolves, in their latest matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder Nov. 5, brought the game within three points when Andrew Wiggins connected on a short jumper with 9:42 to play in the third quarter, but the Wolves didn’t score another basket until there was only 2:02 left in the quarter.

The Thunder went on a 20-2 run in that span and Oklahoma City increased its lead to 83-62.

The Thunder kept its foot on the gas pedal, outscoring the Wolves 53-39 in the second half, as the Wolves fell to 1-4 on the season with a 112-92 loss to the Thunder.

Karl-Anthony Towns was one of the few bright spots for the Wolves, as he scored 33 points on 13-of-20 shooting in the contest. There was reason for concern early in the fourth quarter when Towns was shown walking toward the locker room, but he eventually returned to the Wolves’ bench.

Shabazz Muhammad came off the bench to be the Wolves’ second-leading scorer in the game, as he connected on six of his nine shots for 15 points to notch his first double-digit point effort of the season.

Gorgui Dieng also had a decent game for the Wolves, connecting on 4-of-8 shots for eight points, while also pulling down eight rebounds and blocking four shots.

Andrew Wiggins, who entered the game averaging 24 points-per-game on 51.6 percent shooting, was held to just seven points on 3-of-13 shooting. Wiggins never appeared to find his groove in the game, as Towns’ red-hot first half kept Wiggins away from the ball.

Zach LaVine, much like Wiggins, struggled in the loss, as he connected on only one of his six shots for four points.

Russell Westbrook led the Thunder by scoring 28 points on 9-of-18 shooting, while also picking up six rebounds and eight assists. This was only the second time all year Westbrook was held without a double-double.

Steven Adams was able to have success against the Wolves’ bigs, as he connected on six of his seven shots for 14 points, while also collecting eight rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks. Victor Oladipo, following an offseason trade with the Orlando Magic that brought him to the Thunder, scored 12 points and threw down a couple monstrous dunks.

Other notes

The Wolves, despite featuring the NBA’s fifth-best defensive rating entering the game, gave up more than 100 points for the fourth time this season.

John Lucas III, Adreian Payne and Jordan Hill notched their first minutes of the season in the loss. Lucas III scored two points on 1-of-4 shooting, Payne picked up six points on 2-of-3 shooting, and Hill connected on two free throws and pulled down three rebounds.

Towns acknowledged facing Steven Adams was one of the heardest tasks he faced last season, but he was able to notch 11 first-quarter points against Adams.

What’s next?

The Wolves will look to break their two-game losing streak and earn their second win of the season when they play the second game of their three-game road trip against the Brooklyn Nets at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 8.

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