Josh Okogie hadn’t been himself for, well, much of the last month.
In his 12 games prior to Thursday, Okogie was shooting a miserable 26% from the field and just 10% from three-point range (3-for-31). He was averaging 1.7 turnovers to 1.2 assists and he couldn’t find himself on either end of the floor.
Okogie may have found something again in the Wolves’ 116-102 win over Portland. He had just two shot attempts for eight points. They were both threes and he hit them.
But you could feel his impact all over the floor. Okogie was a Firestarter defensively, logging two steals and two blocks before fouling out in the fourth quarter.
“Man, I'm glad I started playing like this,” Okogie said. “Just let my defense kind of take over and then let everything else follow suit. I did a good job being active.”
Okogie is known for the high amount of energy he beings on the floor and he said that had been missing of late.
“It wasn't even the shot making,” Okogie said. “It was the energy part and I think tonight was a good night to kind of come out like that.”
Coach Ryan Saunders was glad to have Okogie back looking like his old self.
“I thought he was awesome,” Okogie said. “Just his energy and he’s a guy that feeds off of the crowd too. I think the crowd feeds off him, so it’s always fun to watch.”
Big second quarter
The Wolves won the game Thursday in the second quarter when they outscored Portland 31-13. They held Portland to just 6 of 22 shooting, 1 of 8 from three-point range and turned four Blazers turnovers into eight points. It was one of the most complete quarters of the season, and indicative of how the defense has responded with Karl-Anthony Towns out of the lineup.
“We can’t outscore everyone,” Robert Covington said. “We’ve got tremendous talent, but you have to be able to get down and get stops. That’s what it comes down to. We’ve got the talent. We’ve got the athleticism to where can do a lot of things. How committed are we? We kind of got away from it, but now we’re starting to trend back towards the way we started the season. Guys see what we’re capable of and see what we weren’t doing.”