It’s amazing how much of a difference effort can make.
Just 48 hours after a humiliating defeat at the hand of the previously winless Sixers, the Wolves found themselves with a four point lead over the Rockets in the final minute. Leading the charge was Corey Brewer and Shabazz Muhammad. Their energy was infectious, and their nonstop rambunctiousness woke up a lethargic crowd that didn’t seem to be expecting much after the mess that was Wednesday’s game.
In the end, the Wolves were unable to hold on, but last night showed the Wolves possessed a crucial trait: resiliency. Finding themselves down by a score of 33-24 once the first quarter came to an end, Minnesota went on an 18-4 run in the next 6:51, retaking the lead. During the run, Muhammad scored six points, while Brewer added 4 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 assists and a block
Muhammad’s effort was difficult to ignore. At one point during the Wolves 18-4 run, Muhammad grabbed a rebound while sandwiched between two Rockets. His effort gave the Wolves another chance but the ball ended up going out of bounds off a Houston player.
Off the ensuing inbound, Muhammad tips a missed Budinger layup to Jeff Adrien, who is fouled.
About a minute later, Muhammad grabs another rebound, this time with the help of Bennett (below). The ball eventually landed in the hands of Bennett, who made the ensuing layup.
Muhammad helped Minnesota bring a toughness the Wolves severely lacked on Wednesday, and there’s no denying he’s been the most impressive player on the team over the last handful of games.
- James Harden was his usual efficient self. He had 38 points on 17 shots, but his night ended early when he fouled out after Corey Brewer drew an offensive foul with 1:20 left in regulation.
- Chase was given nearly 28 minutes of action, and did ok producing on the offensive end. After looking shaky early in the game, Budinger rebounded, finishing with 10 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists. He’s still shaking off plenty of rust, but you can see him becoming increasingly more comfortable on the floor.
- LaVine had one of his best all-around games of the season. He put up 17 points to go along with his 6 rebounds and 4 assists. He made a few rookie mistakes, but he attacked the rim without worrying about contact. Plus, he’s good at that dunking thing.