After once again letting a big first half lead slip away in a defeat, the Wolves appeared a frustrated bunch after Thursday’s 102-99 loss to Denver at Target Center.
Karl-Anthony Towns said he felt like his team was doing half a puzzle without finishing it. Andrew Wiggins said the team was being haunted by it’s third-quarter failings.
“The third quarter got us again,’’ he said.
For the third time in three losses the Wolves built a first-half lead of at least 15 points only to lose. With a three-game road trip looming, here are some final thoughts on tonight’s game:
--Towns’ play mirrored that of the team. He had 22 of his 32 points at halftime. He finished with 32 points and 14 rebounds. It was the sixth 20-point half of his career and his fifth career 30-point game.
--Wiggins has scored 20 or more points in three of four games this season
--Kris Dunn had some pretty bright moments while making his second career start. His first-half defense was very good and he finished with nine assists in nearly 30 minutes of playing time. But, clearly tired, he didn’t play in the fourth quarter.
--After giving away a lead in the first half, the second unit – led by point guard Tyus Jones and forward Nemanja Bjelica – played well in the fourth quarter. Bjelica’s 10 fourth-quarter points helped cut a 13-point Denver lead to six on his layup with 5:46 left. Both he and Jones were a plus-10 in the fourth.
--The Timberwolves own the first quarter this season. They scored 37 tonight, the team’s third 30-plus-point first quarter of the season. Minnesota is now averaging 33.0 points on 60 percent shooting in first quarter play.
--It was a tough night for Gorgui Dieng after he played so well Tuesday. Dieng had two points on 1-for-6 shooting with four turnovers and four fouls in 28 minutes of play. He sat in the fourth quarter.