Despite yet another loss, it was hard not to be encouraged by the way the Wolves played in the second half of Tuesday’s loss to the Thunder. Down 15 in the fourth quarter, the Wolves got within three points five times down the stretch but couldn’t quite get over the top. Here are some final thoughts on the game:

--Interim coach Sam Mitchell said this was Zach LaVine’s best game this season. He may be right. LaVine scored 21 points with nine rebounds and four assists in 26½ minutes. He scored 13 of his points in the fourth quarter.

--Tonight was further proof that Shabazz Muhammad needs to continue to play big minutes. He scored 20 tonight on 8-for-15 shooting with four rebounds and three assists.

--Andrew Wiggins started slowly but finished very strong. He scored 16 of his 22 points in the second half, nine in the fourth quarter.

--The Wolves reserves scored 55 points tonight on 20-for-37 shooting, making six of 12 three-pointers. All five bench players were plus in the plus/minus ratings. All five starters were minus.

--It was a difficult night for starting point guard Ricky Rubio. His game, and the way LaVine was playing, kept Rubio on the bench in the fourth quarter. Rubio was 1-for-5 shooting, had six assists but three turnover.

That’s it for now. Jerry will be with the team in Houston.