A little less than 5 minutes remained in the second quarter of the Wolves' game with Utah on Monday night when rookie Andrew Wiggins got the ball, dribbled once into the lane, rose and dunked off the head of Utah center Rudy Gobert.
Wiggins landed, pumped his fist, yelled. Frankly, it was a rather unprecedented display of emotion.
"It was exciting," Wiggins explained. "It was good. I got up."
On a night that was otherwise a little dull, perhaps expected and ultimately disappointing, there were a few moment worth watching at Target Center.
That was one of them. Here's another: On the Wolves' next possession Wiggins again tried to dunk on Gobert, but this time the he blocked it, then flexed his upper body like the Incredible Hulk.
"I was waiting for him to come back," Gobert said. "And he came back pretty quick."
So take that out of an otherwise uninspiring 104-84 Utah victory against a Wolves team that, with center Gorgui Dieng out because of concussion-like symptoms, left coach Flip Saunders with 7½ available players.
It was close for a while — Wiggins' dunk over Gobert pulled the Wolves within one — but the Jazz eventually pulled away. Gobert's ensuing dunk was the cornerstone of a 29-6 run that gave Utah a 24-point lead 4 minutes into the second half.
"We lost energy," Saunders said of his team, which was outscored 31-17 in the third quarter. They Wolves have played 10 consecutive games dressing fewer than 10 players. "That has caught up to us," Saunders said. "We didn't put our hands on 'em. We let them do what they wanted to do. Those guys, they're exhausted."
But anyone looking to the future had a few things to remember form this game, starting with Wiggins, who had three impressive dunks among his 22 points, with two of them coming on Gobert. As the de facto go-to guy with many regulars on the bench, it was Wiggins who provided the majority of the Wolves' watchable moments.
There were a few others. Zach LaVine. Like Wiggins, he struggled at times with his shot. But he also scored 21 points, with six assists and five rebounds. Chase Budinger came off the bench to score 14 points with seven rebounds.
The Jazz, meanwhile, got double-doubles from forward Trevor Booker (17 points and 13 rebounds) and Gobert (15 and 12) and got 22 points from Gordon Hayward.
But it was Wiggins who had the highlight of the game.
That dunk not only got Wiggins going, it got his teammates going, too.
"That was very impressive," Budinger said. "Before the game I was telling him not to back down on [Gobert]. To dunk on him every time you get into the lane. And he definitely did that."
And Wiggins showed some emotion too, which he said is to be expected. "I didn't do something like that all year," he said.
And if Gobert followed suit moments later?
"That's part of the game," Wiggins said.
Get used to it. This is something you'll see a lot of in the future.
"We're both young teams," Wiggins said. "We're in the same conference. We're going to see each other a lot."
•Before the game Saunders made it official: Nikola Pekovic, the center who has battled ankle soreness seemingly forever, will not play again this season. That means Pekovic finishes the season having played in a season-low 31 games (37.8 percent of the season). Through five seasons Pekovic has appeared in 259 of a possible 394 games, or roughly two-thirds. But in the past two seasons that has dropped to 51.8 percent. Saunders wouldn't elaborate on the decision, referring follow-up questions to the team's medical staff, which is generally out of bounds to reporters.
•With Dieng out because of concussion-like symptoms, that meant Hamilton started at center. Also out for the Wolves: Kevin Garnett, Ricky Rubio, Shabazz Muhammad, Gary Neal and Kevin Martin.
•Saunders witnessed Sunday's return of Anthony Bennett and Robbie Hummel after weeks away injured. Saunders called Hummel's conditioning more advanced because he's coming back from a hand injury that has allowed him to run while sidelined, and Bennett is recovering from a sprained ankle. Saunders said the second-year power forward was a long way from 100 percent.
Hummel, though, is closer.
"I felt pretty good," Hummel said. "A little rusty, but for the most part it's basketball. You get back out there. You can still lift with your lower body and still run with a broken hand. When I tore my ACL, I couldn't do anything all that time. That was tough. This was easier."