In Minnesota's 103-91 win over Houston, it was perhaps the Wolves' best defensive lineup that fully took control of the game: the grouping of defensive stalwart Robert Covington with four reserves — Tyus Jones, Gorgui Dieng, Derrick Rose and Dario Saric.
That group held the Rockets scoreless for the first three minutes of the fourth. Karl-Anthony Towns re-entered for Dieng, and they kept the shutout going for a full 5:17 of the fourth quarter.
The Rockets, one of the best offensive teams in the NBA, finished with just nine points in the entire quarter and 29 in the half.
In that fourth quarter shutout stretch, Jones had three steals and Covington forced two jump balls, both of which he won.
When that group of Covington and four reserves is on the floor together — they've played 70 minutes since the trade — the Wolves are outscoring opponents by 28.6 points per 100 possessions.
Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. firstname.lastname@example.org.