The Minnesota Timberwolves bounced back from their 18-point loss to the Rockets with an eight-point win over the Los Angeles Lakers heading into the All-Star break. This was doubly important as the Wolves were able to win a game on the night they honored Flip Saunders, putting his name in the rafters.
1. A big key, no matter how boring it could be, was the Wolves success at getting to the line, and making free throws. The Wolves went to the line 31 times, and made 29 of them for a 93.5 percent success rate. Jimmy Butler was tops for the Wolves as he made 10-11 at the line, then Taj Gibson and Karl-Anthony Towns both went 6-6 and Jeff Teague went 6-7.
2. Speaking of Gibson, he took the second most shots on the team and led the team in scoring. Gibson scored 28 points on 11-16 from the field, plus added seven rebounds, an assist, a steal and two blocks. In addition he did this while fouling out after playing 39 minutes.
3. Jamal Crawford also gave a positive contribution off the bench. Crawford was a part of the free throw party hitting his lone attempt, as he scored 15 points on 6-11 shooting, and 2-6 from three. Jeff Teague also added 20 points and six assists, while Towns grabbed a game high 19 rebounds.
1. The Wolves three-point shooting was abysmal in this game as they shot 6-24 from three, Jimmy Butler shot 0-7 in the game. Lucky for them that the Lakers were also horrid as they went 7-31 for the game or 22.6 percent.
2. The Wolves defense in the post wasn't very good either as they allowed 62 points in the paint. A big part of that was they went 4-4 in the paint, scoring eight points in the paint and 19 for the game off the bench. Julius Randle made an even bigger impact as he scored 12 of his 23 points in the paint. Brandon Ingram added 10 in the paint, Josh Hart added eight as well.
3. Lastly Andrew Wiggins had a poor performance once again. Wiggins took 11 shots, and made only four to score eight points, and didn't reach the free throw line.
All of the Wolves players but Jimmy Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns will now have the next week off as the NBA has it's All-Star break, with their first game after the break coming on February 23 at 7 p.m. against the Houston Rockets.