PORTLAND, ore. – With Friday’s five-point, zero-rebound, zero-assist performance at Utah behind him, Timberwolves young star Andrew Wiggins Sunday played on as he always does: without expression.
“You just throw that kind of game out the window,” he said before Sunday’s game at Portland in which he produced 15 points with nine rebounds but shot 3-for-18. “It happens.”
He made two of 11 field-goal attempts in that 103-90 loss to the Jazz. He’s scored fewer points in an NBA game only once in his career, in the 14th game he ever played last season as a rookie, in a November game against the Lakers in Los Angeles.
Wolves interim head coach Sam Mitchell said he knew Wiggins was tired and not on his game when he asked for rest during Friday’s third quarter. Wiggins said Salt Lake City’s high altitude was no factor.
Mitchell suggested Wiggins’ unemotional nature benefits him during an 82-game season.
“I think he’s wired the right way to handle all the expectations and the hype and everything that comes with being Andrew Wiggins,” Mitchell said. “He just has this expression on his face, you don’t know if he has 30 or he has two. But that’s good.”
He has come a long way
Portland coach Terry Stotts went across town to watch Nike Hoops Summit workouts consecutive years when Wolves rookie Karl-Anthony Towns played for the World team against U.S. prep stars in 2013 and 2014.
“He was such a young player,” Stotts said. “I certainly wouldn’t have predicted at that time that he would have gone on to do the things he’s doing. He’s a terrific player. He has really filled out, matured physically. He’s probably obviously the lead candidate for Rookie of the Year.”
Will history repeat?
Wiggins and Towns tussle online Monday at 6:30 p.m., playing the video game “Call of Duty” against each other. That’s how they first came to know each other when they were roommates at the 2013 Nike Hoops Summit in Portland.
“This game has a history with me and Wigs,” Towns said. “I was undefeated in that game against him. I plan on retaining my title.”
• Kevin Garnett (sore knee) and Kevin Martin (sore right wrist) each missed his fourth consecutive game Sunday.
• Former Wolves coach Rick Adelman and his wife, Mary Kay, attended Sunday’s game, and Rick Adelman visited the Wolves’ locker room after. They’ve made Portland their home since Adelman played for the Blazers in the 1970s. Their son David is a Wolves assistant coach.