A thirteen game losing streak was on the line as the 5-29 Minnesota Timberwolves took the short road trip to Milwaukee to take on the 19-18 Bucks Friday night. What was originally scheduled to showcase the two top rookies in the NBA, Friday’s game fell a little flat on high expectations given the season ending injury that Jabari Parker suffered earlier in the season. However, Andrew Wiggins has been nothing but impressive of late, averaging about 40 minutes of action a night and putting in 22.6ppg over the past five games.
The Pups opened up with Zach LaVine, Wiggins, Shabazz Muhammad, Thad Young, and Gorgui Dieng. Milwaukee opened up with with Brandon Knight, Giannis Antetokoounmpo, Khris Middleton, Johnny O’Bryant, and Zaza Pachulia.
Zach LaVine got off to a nice start for the Wolves, filling up the stat sheet with rebounds, assists, and a steal in the early minutes. It could have been even better if the Wolves hit a jump shot or two off of a LaVine pass. The game had a slow feel to it as the Milwaukee crowd was pretty quiet in the early going. The first timeout of the game wasn’t taken until 5:13 remained in the opening quarter, with the Timberwolves holding a 13-10 advantage.
At the end of the first quarter the Wolves held a 22-19 lead. Two major takeaways that need to be discussed – 1. What does Flip Saunders believe he has in Thad Young? and 2. Will the real Chase Budinger please stand up? Young is an incredibly frustrating player to watch. The lack in consistency is probably the most pertinent issue. As for Budinger, he entered the game in the first quarter and responded with 5 points on 2-2 shooting in three minutes.
OJ Mayo answered the call in the second quarter, opening up with two quick three pointers to give the Bucks a 27-24 lead and forcing a Timberwolves timeout. It didn’t stop there for Milwaukee as they went on a 22-8 run to start the second quarter and opened up a ten point advantage, 41-31. Unfortunately, the Wolves looked lost throughout the second quarter. It seems like this has happened every night and the Wolves shoot themselves in the foot at some point each and every time. The Bucks built a 15 point advantage heading into the locker room, 53-38. Here’s how bad the second quarter looked:
— Alan Horton (@WolvesRadio) January 10, 2015
The defensive effort and intensity was missing to start the third quarter and Flip wound up burning a quick timeout to presumably try to light a fire under the Wolves’ collective asses. The strategy worked for a few minutes as the Wolves cut the Bucks’ lead to single digits. However, the Bucks fought back and rebuilt the double digit lead with a few minutes left in the quarter. Jerryd Bayless hit a jumper to close out the quarter as the Bucks reclaimed a 14 point advantage heading into the final 12 minutes, 72-58.
The Bucks signed Kenyon Martin to a 10 day contract and he made his first appearance as the 4th quarter got started. Martin and Bucks Head Coach Jason Kidd were of course teammates when the New Jersey Nets went to back-to-back NBA Finals in 2002 and 2003.
The familiar story of the losing streak continued Friday night. Too many turnovers, porous defense, and poor shooting percentages were all on display for the Pups.
The final score: Milwaukee 98, Minnesota 84.
- Every Bucks player that got on the court scored at least four points in tonight’s game
- Thad Young had a season high 5 steals
- Glenn Robinson III entered late in the 4th quarter and added a bit of nostalgia, as his dad was the #1 pick for the Bucks back in 1994