The Minnesota Timberwolves took the Target Center floor on Friday determined to finish out 2016 in the right way. Small forward Andrew Wiggins, shooting guard Zach LaVine, and center Karl-Anthony Towns combined for 73 points to propel the T’Wolves to a 116-99 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.
Wiggins led all scorers with 31 points, five rebounds, and six assists.
Small forward/shooting guard Shabazz Muhammad put up his best game of the season off the bench, contributing 22 points and one rebound in the win. Bucks small forward Giannis Antetokounmpo led the opponents with 25 points, seven rebounds, and five assists.
The Wolves played a complete, team-oriented game and used a consistent defensive effort to keep the sometimes lethal Bucks duo of Anteokounmpo and combo forward Jabari Parker at bay. Minnesota shot 13-for-25 from beyond the arc and 17-for-21 from the free throw line.
Another highlight of the game was the return of former Timberwolves combo forward Michael Beasley to the Target Center. He played 80 games for the Wolves in two seasons from 2010 to 2012 and averaged 16.2 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.
The Wolves are now 6-5 since their Dec. 11 loss to the Golden State Warriors, leading some to believe that head coach Tom Thibodeau’s system might finally be sinking in for the players. Minnesota was predicted to finish near .500 this season, and they are, at last, playing at that clip.
A new year brings fresh challenges for the Wolves as they face the Portland Trail Blazers on New Year’s Day at the Target Center at 6:00 p.m.
Brad Omland is a writer and editor for Howlin’ T-Wolf. Follow him on Twitter for Minnesota sports updates and commentary: @bradradio.