The Timberwolves won seven of eight games over a 13-day period at the end of November and there was much positive conversation about a team on the rise.

Maybe not the playoffs, but at the least a top-10 finish in the 15-team Western Conference that would get them into that silly little play-in tournament.

Hard to believe that was too high of a goal for our perpetual disappointments of winter.

Then again, if you were among the partisans who braved the season's first snowstorm and made it to Target Center on Friday night, you now can believe.

The visitors were the Cleveland Cavaliers, rebuilt with a collection of young standouts, and also having Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love coming off the bench.

Rubio was traded for the second time by the Wolves last summer. Amazingly, Love has remained with the Cavs since being traded at his insistence in August 2014, joining LeBron James and winning an NBA title.

The pair came off the bench almost simultaneously late in the first quarter, with Rubio getting a cheer and Love getting mostly muffled boos.

Either way, Rubio, now 31, and Love, 33, have to be enjoying this chance to provide both minutes and mentorship to a Cavs team that looks like it will be a solid playoff team in the East, not just one of those Nos. 7 through 10 impostors.

Guard Collin Sexton was lost for the season because of a knee injury, which was no problem Friday, as Darius Garland, Evan Mobley, Jarrett Allen, Lauri Markkanen and Isaac Okoro made the Wolves look ridiculous from the start.

A couple of Allen dunks on lobs and a runout caused Wolves coach Chris Finch to call timeout with 4½ minutes gone in the no-contest. The score was Cleveland 20, Wolves 4, and those fans in the late-arriving crowd managed a solid boo.

Things never really got better. Remember that seven wins in eight games we were talking about? That was the fifth consecutive loss in December, and the second consecutive embarrassment at home, following Wednesday's 136-104 hammering from Utah.

The Wolves are now 11-15 and charging downward fast enough to soon surpass Houston and Oklahoma City — two teams dedicated to rebuilding. Before you know it, the only team holding up our lads could be the Pelicans.

Who could have guessed D'Angelo Russell and his 38.2% shooting could be this important to the operation? But there's no other excuse to attempt for an 0-3 homestand in which the Wolves were outscored by 60 points.

The motive from here for being in attendance was to check on whether Anthony Edwards' play had remained as entertaining as have been the postgame observations on his team.

Boom! Our Ant man was lost in the blur of Cavaliers' breaks, ball movement and attacking defense, just like that, a 20-year-old lost in the NBA spin cycle.

Edwards was 4-for-12 (all layups), 0-for-5 on well-missed threes, three turnovers, and a minus-24 when on the floor. That was the first half, with the Cavs leading 65-44.

And it didn't get better, for Ant or his team. The final was 123-106, with Edwards going 6-for-17 from the field, 1-for-8 on threes (13 points) and topping the plus-minus chart at a minus-32.

It was less than a month ago the Wolves had a terrible first half vs. Sacramento, then shaped up in the second half and defeated the Kings 127-117.

That started the Wolves on the 7-1 streak of hope. It also provided some postgame free-form poetry from Edwards, in tribute to Finch's rare halftime blasting of his players.

"You got 'Finchy' in there yelling," Edwards said. "That's not him, know what I'm saying? When he doin' that, we got to tighten up. He bangin' on the door, we got to tighten up. We can't have Finchy in here acting out of character."

Edwards had himself out on the plank a bit more after Wednesday's beatdown from Utah, when he offered a strategy to veteran star Karl-Anthony Towns for handling the double-teams that he's been facing.

"I told KAT the best way to beat it, you got to go quick," Edwards said. "They can't guard you …"

That didn't apply Friday. Cleveland's large front of two 7-footers, rookie Mobley and three-point bomber Markkanen, and the ultra-aggressive, 6-11 Allen, made every twist or turn miserable for KAT when the game was being decided in the first half.

As for Edwards, Finch has said: "I refer to him as a home run hitter. He's up there, and home run hitters aren't afraid to strike out."

On this night, the Ant was Miguel Sano chasing nothing but 0-2 sliders.