HOUSTON – The clock was almost out on the Timberwolves’ 117-111 loss to the Rockets.
Malik Beasley found himself alone with the ball and was open at the three-point line. Beasley decided to shoot it. It went in.
It may have seemed like an inconsequential shot, but for Beasley, at least he got to see his final shot go through the hoop on his worst night shooting in a Wolves uniform. Beasley had just five points on 2 of 11 shooting.
It was Beasley who scored efficiently in the Wolves’ last two games (29 and 21 points, respectively) while D’Angelo Russell struggled. The roles were switched on Tuesday with Russell getting 28 points on 8 of 15 shooting.
“They’ve had games where they’ve both clicked too,” coach Ryan Saunders said. “It’s the NBA. There’s nights where teams do a good job of defending somebody. Nights when a guy just gets hot and the basket looks big. So I thought Malik, he’s played really well for us and he’ll continue to play well.”
Saunders made a point that perhaps Beasley is getting a little more attention as his numbers have gone up since coming from Denver to Minnesota.
“He’s highlighted on scouting reports now,” Saunders said. “So I thought they did a nice job of trying to limit him.”
Russell had some moments of brilliance on Tuesday night when he looked like James Harden’s equal on the offensive floor, especially with some of the stepback shots he was hitting.
Overall, it was a mixed bag for the Wolves offense, which shot 48%. Even though Russell had a good night, as did Juancho Hernangomez (18 points), Russell thought the Wolves were out of sorts on that end of the floor.
“I felt like we were sleepwalking to be honest, including myself,” Russell said. “Of course I made a few shots, but I don’t think it was as fluent as we’ve done previously and what we need to win games. I think we were just kind of really sleepwalking.”