The Minnesota Timberwolves, without Jimmy Butler once again due to knee soreness, were unable to slow down the Blazers back court of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum as a 43 point third-quarter and 59 points combined from the guard combo led to the nine point defeat.
1. The Wolves defense was not good in this one. They allowed the Blazers to shoot 54.9 percent from the field and 54.8 percent from three, hitting 17-31 from beyond the arc. Damian Lillard hit 6-11 and CJ McCollum hit 4-5. Meanwhile Al-Farouq Aminu went 3-4, and Zach Collins and Pat Connaughton were both 2-3.
2. Back to Lillard and McCollum. Those two stars scored 31 and 28 individually. Lillard shot 9-17 from the field and 7-7 from the line to go with those 6-11 three-point shooting. He also added six assists and four rebounds without a turnover. McCollum would also not turn the ball over, as he went 12-20 from the field to go with his 4-5 outing from three, plus contribute five assists, and three boards.
3. Meanwhile the Wolves also were beat on the boards, as the Trail Blazers grabbed 43 boards to the Wolves 42. 43 would also be the number of points the Blazers scored in the third quarter that did in the Timberwolves. In the other three quarters, the Wolves-Blazers went 29-25, 25-29 and 30-26, meaning the Wolves had a four-point lead not including the third, but being outscored 43-30 in the third was the reason for the loss.
1. Despite the poor defense, the Wolves had a good outing offensively. The Wolves shot 53.6 percent from the field, making 45-84 shots from the field. Then they would shoot 6-16 from three, or 37.5 percent. They also went to the line 22 times, hitting 18 for an 81.8 percent clip. The Wolves also only turned the ball over nine times. And scored 52 points in the paint.
2. Andrew Wiggins was great offensively, but his defense hurt the team overall. Offensively, Wiggins hit 11-17 shots and 2-4 from three as he scored 24 points, but he would be a -24 on the day. Karl-Anthony Towns contributed 16 and nine and Jeff Teague, despite going 4-12 from the field, scored 15 thanks to a 7-7 performance from the free throw line.
3. Lastly, the Wolves got a pretty good performance from the bench as Jamal Crawford scored 19 points on an efficient 7-10 shooting, Gorgui Dieng added six points and five boards, Tyus Jones had six and five, but five assists rather than rebounds.
The Wolves have a quick turnaround Thursday night as they head to Oakland to face off against the Golden State Warriors at 9:30 at Oracle Arena. They currently stand eight games behind the conference leading and NBA leading defending champs.