The Minnesota Timberwolves put up big numbers offensively, but they couldn't stop one man in Cleveland on Wednesday--LeBron James. A last second buzzer-beater in overtime cost the Wolves the game 140-138.
1. The Wolves honestly played a very good game, but they just got killed by James, and by an insane shooting performance from Cleveland. Starting with James, James played 48 minutes, scored 37 points on 16-22 shooting, 5-7 from three, and dished out 15 assists, and 10 rebounds. James turned it on when it mattered most and made plays that the Wolves could do nothing to stop. The biggest two plays came in the final seconds of overtime. Jimmy Butler had a look at the rim with James defending, and James did what players of his caliber can do, block Butler's shot at the rim to give his team a chance to win. Then on the inbound pass, James would nail a turn-around fade away jumper just above the free-throw line as the buzzer sounded to defeat the Wolves.
2. Otherwise, the Wolves struggled to shut down a Cavaliers offense that has been horrid of late. Cleveland had seven players in double figures, and shot 59.1 percent from the field, and 51.2 percent from three hitting 21-41 from beyond the arc.
3. A final negative would be losing on the boards by 10, as the Cavaliers out-rebounded the Timberwolves 47-37. That includes seven offensive rebounds.
1. Meanwhile, the Wolves had an incredible performance offensively that simply wasn't enough. The Wolves had six players hit double figures, two over 30. They shot 58.1 percent from the field, and hit 57.6 percent from three, shooting 19-33 from beyond the arc, and were 11-12 from the line, good for 91.7 percent.
2. Those two 30-point performances came form Karl-Anthony Towns and Jimmy Butler. Towns was 10-12 from the field, 6-6 from three and 4-4 from the line on his way to a 30 point-10 rebound performance. Butler went for 35 points, as he shot 14-21 from the field, 4-5 from three as he collected five rebounds, and six assists with two steals.
3. The bench play was also very good in the Wolves' loss. Nemanja Bjelica scored five points and grabbed six boards, Gorgui Dieng scored 10 and grabbed four rebounds, and Jamal Crawford scored 16 on 7-13 shooting and 2-5 from three.
The Wolves travel to Chicago next, as Jimmy Butler makes his first appearance back in Chicago since the summer trade, with tip-off at 8:30 at the United Center.