Wednesday’s Wolves victory over Houston – their second straight – gave them their second actual winning streak of the season.
And we’re just 39 games into the season!
But it was a big victory,one that ended Houston's nine-game winning streak and one that helped heal the wound of last month’s collapse against the Rockets. And an indication, perhaps, that the team might be learning how to win games in the fourth quarter. For the second straight game the Wolves built a late lead, got some push back from the opponent, but held on for a victory.
“I can finally smile in front of you all,’’ Karl-Anthony Towns said. “It’s good to see us keep a lead.’’
Here are some notes and thoughts from the game:
--For the second straight game, Ricky Rubio was wonderful running the Wolves’ offense. He matched his career high – and his franchise record – with 17 assists to just one turnover. Over the last two games he has 32 assists and four turnovers. He is just the third Wolves player to put together consecutive games with 15 or more assists.
--Shabazz Muhammad’s corner three with 2:05 left after the Rockets had cut a 20-point Wolves lead to 12 was a huge, huge shot. He scored 20 points off the bench on 7-for-11 shooting and really seems to be hitting stride. It was his second 20-point game of the season. He has scored in double figures in seven of his last nine games after doing it just six times over his first 26 appearances.
--After watching Brandon Rush – who started in place of the injured Zach LaVine – score 12 points on 4-for-8 shooting (he made four of seven three-pointers), with three steals and three assists, I have to wonder why he hasn’t been in the rotation more this season. His ability as a spot-up shooter really spaced the floor well for the Wolves tonight.
--Andrew Wiggins scored 15 of his 28 points in a tone-setting first quarter. His aggressive play led the way for the Wolves. In two games without Zach LaVine this season, Wiggins have averaged 37.5 points on 61-percent shooting.