The Wolves opened up with a different lineup this evening, with Lorenzo Brown, Shabazz Muhammad, Robbie Hummel, Mychel Thompson, and Chris Johnson. The Suns opened up with a pretty intriguing Summer League starting five with the Morris twins, Kendall Marshall, Archie Goodwin, and PJ Tucker.
The Wolves started the game hot from beyond the arc, hitting 6 of their first 8 attempts, and opening up a 23-10 lead that forced the Suns to take a timeout. This included one from Shabazz, and two apiece from Hummel and Demetri McCamey. The good times kept rolling through the first quarter and shots kept dropping for the Timberwolves, who took a 32-14 lead into the second quarter.
The game slowed down tremendously in the second quarter, with both teams struggling to put points on the board. Gorgui Dieng checked into the game and picked up four fouls in under four minutes, missing a 16 foot jumper to boot. Yikes. About halfway through the quarter, several starters returned and the Wolves took off again, building a 20+ point lead. At the half, the Wolves led 49-31, led by a very strong performance from Robbie Hummel, who led the team in both points (10) and rebounds (6) going into the locker room.
The Suns came out swinging in the third quarter, cutting the lead to 8 points (53-45) before the Timberwolves woke back up. Flip Saunders actually joined the broadcast booth in the third quarter. A few tidbits from the discussion:
- No news on the negotiations with Pekovic
- As Flip was talking the Wolves hit another three pointer and he talked through the need to transform last year’s roster to get more shooters on the floor
- He praised Ronnie Turiaf’s work ethic and willingness to play any type of role
- Said Hummel has played better as a 4 (PF) in the past, but will likely need to be a 3 (SF) if he were to make the team / in the NBA
While Flip was talking and for the remainder of the quarter, the Suns made the game interesting. Dieng was struggling in all aspects of the game and the remaining reserves didn’t fair too much better. At the end of three, the Wolves held a 69-62 lead.
The fourth quarter seemed to slog along, with a number of turnovers (offensive fouls, traveling calls) and lacked any type of rhythm. Similar to game one, Coach Adelman (, David) put Shabazz back in the game for the final few minutes of the game. However, Muhammad didn’t do much with the opportunity. In fact, the Suns caught fire with less than two minutes to go in the game, hitting three 3 pointers in a row and tying the game at 87.
Tied at 89, the Wolves called a timeout to set up a play for Shabazz. Muhammad got the ball and tried to swing it low from side to side, but Morris had other plans and was able to knock the ball away. The Suns recovered, called a timeout, and subsequently won the game on a buzzer beater. Quite honestly, the way the fourth quarter dragged on, I’m just glad it ended without going into overtime. Simply put, the Timberwolves lost the game with porous defense in the second half and an inability to hit free throws (19-34, 56%).
Game 2 from Las Vegas is now complete. Here are your Three Stars of the Game (Wolves lens only):
- Robbie Hummel (again)
- Kee Kee Clark
- Demetri McCamey