The Timberwolves returned home to the Target Center on Wednesday to defeat a struggling New York Knicks team. However, the good news and vibes didn’t last long as the Pups announced that Kevin Martin will be out indefinitely with a fractured wrist. Martin continued playing in Wednesday’s game after the 1st quarter injury and dropped in 37 points against the Knicks. The injury left the Wolves without Martin, Ricky Rubio, and Nikola Pekovic for Friday night’s game against the Spurs because of injury, while Thad Young remains away from the team due to his family’s loss.
The Timberwolves PR Twitter feed summed things up pretty nicely …
#Twolves starters: Mo Williams, Corey Brewer, Andrew Wiggins, Shabazz Muhammad and Gorgui Dieng… 7th different starting lineup in 11 gms.
— Timberwolves PR (@Twolves_PR) November 22, 2014
Breaking news at the Target Center early on in the game, as Tony Parker was announced as “good at basketball”. Parker helped the Spurs build a 20-13 lead and accounted for 11 points and 1 assist in the first seven minutes of the opening quarter. Mo Williams did his part to keep the Wolves close though, cutting the lead to 22-18 and forcing the Spurs into a timeout. In a highly entertaining and competitive quarter, the Spurs took a 29-26 advantage into the 2nd quarter.
The Wolves continued to play well into the 2nd quarter but Danny Green 47-37 hit two three pointers in row and took the Spurs lead from 41-37 up to a ten point lead. Despite a few offensive highlights from Mo Williams and Gorgui Dieng, the Spurs maintained their double digit lead through much of the rest of the quarter, trailing at one point by 17 points. At the half the Spurs held a 59-48 advantage, highlighted by the Point Guard match-up. Parker led the Spurs with 23 points on 10-15 shooting, while Williams led the Pups with 15 points and 3 assists.
The proverbial “it got ugly” would be one way to describe the third quarter for the Timberwolves. They gave up multiple offensive rebounds and second chance points to the Spurs while showing virtually nothing in terms of offensive flow on the other side of the court. The Spurs opened up a 20 point lead within four minutes of the second half and the game had a certain feel to it. With the Timberwolves down a number of players and the second of a back-to-back to consider, it was time to keep an eye on the scoreboard and game clock. At the end of the 3rd quarter, the Spurs built their lead to a commanding 91-62 advantage by outscoring the Wolves 32-14 in the quarter.
With the game out of reach, Flip Saunders turned his attention to getting more minutes from the bench. That meant heavier minutes for Anthony Bennett, Zach LaVine, Chase Budinger, and Robbie Hummel. While it could be viewed as meaningless, the Wolves did put up 30 points in the final quarter … noting that the club also gave up 30 points in the final frame as well. The final score from the Target Center, Spurs 121, Timberwolves 92.
- Kevin Martin averaged 35.5ppg in his last two performances before the injury and his offense will be sorely missed. Martin’s 20.4ppg are going to have to be made up by someone or some platoon of players on the roster.
- Several numbers point to the one-sided outcome of tonight’s game. The Spurs held a 53-34 rebounding advantage and shot 55% from the field, including 62% on 21 attempted three pointers.
- Anthony Bennett led the Timberwolves with a season high 20 points on 9-14 shooting.
- Congratulations to Glenn Robinson III for scoring his first career basket late in the 4th quarter
- Interesting fact from this evenings game …
The #Twolves 10 active players entered the game with 44,208 career minutes. In comparison, Tim Duncan alone had played 43,911 career minutes
— MN Timberwolves (@MNTimberwolves) November 22, 2014