LOS ANGELES – As he did after Friday’s game against the Warriors, Jimmy Butler didn’t feel much like talking about the state of his body or the state of anything else involving him and the Timberwolves except for their 120-109 loss to the Clippers.
Butler scored 20 points, 16 of those in the fourth quarter as the Wolves dropped their third straight game on this five-game road trip.
The trip continues Wednesday against the Lakers in Los Angeles and Butler wasn’t sure if he was going to be able to play as he tries to maintain a regimen of precautionary rest to deal with the “general soreness” that has been plaguing him.
“I’m still taking in how we just lost,” Butler said. “I’m not even worried about tomorrow or the day after that.”
Later in his interview session, Butler was asked about his pain tolerance, and how he determines when he might play and how much pain he has to be in to not play in a game.
"What did I tell you the first question, when you asked me that?”
He then added: “Same answer. Rewind it and find the answer I said the first time.”
Then later, Butler was asked about how he is trying not to let his trade request and the issues with his body influence how he plays when he does take the court. He said he was able to not let any noise or distraction spill over into his game.
"I play basketball, I play to win ... That’s my job. I’m not worried about nothing, none of that,” Butler said. “You continue to ask those questions, but it’s not going to change the way I go about the game, not going to change the way I interact with guys in this locker room."
As for the game, Butler said he wasn’t aggressive enough throughout the first three quarters and found his rhythm in the fourth. Clippers guard Patrick Beverley was guarding him most of the night, but Butler insisted Beverley had little to do with his play.
“He didn’t limit me, by the way.” Butler said. “I was just playing not as aggressive in the first three quarters and then in the fourth I just started attacking more. He is a good defender, though. I will say that.
Wiggins’ tough night
Andrew Wiggins has had better nights in a Wolves uniform, going just 4-for-16 for 13 points. Those four field goals included a shot-clock beating prayer from 3-point range. Afterward, coach Tom Thibodeau repeated an oft-used line to say what Wiggins has to do on nights like Monday when he struggled from the field.
“You're not going to shoot great every night. And when you're not shooting great, what are the other ways you can help your team?” Thibodeau said. “That's the mark of a great player, who can play well when you're not shooting well.”