TORONTO – Andrew Wiggins said his right quad contusion would be fine for Wednesday’s game in Toronto, his hometown.
But it turned out Wiggins wasn’t quite right after all. Wiggins wasn’t able to play Wednesday after injuring his leg in the first quarter of Monday’s win over the Pacers.
It marked only the second time in his career Wiggins has missed a game.
“It’s unfortunate,” coach Tom Thibodeau said. “He really did all he could to try and get ready to play.”
Thibodeau termed Wiggins a game-time decision before shootaround and downgraded him to out just before tipoff. Wiggins had played in 243 consecutive games. He last missed a game Nov. 10, 2015.
“He is feeling better, but we also don’t want to take any chances with it. Hopefully we’ll be better [Thursday]. Being from here, he tried to do all he could, it just didn’t work out.”
Against the Raptors, Wiggins is averaging 24 points per game, his third-best average against any team.
Rookie Josh Okogie, who played 24 minutes Monday against the Pacers in place of Wiggins, got his second career start and scored 10 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in 27 minutes but shot only 4-for-14.
Trying for more threes
The Wolves have had an emphasis on taking more three-pointers this season after finishing last in that category a season ago. That includes guards shooting more from beyond the arc and Anthony Tolliver hoisting the ball as often as he gets off the bench.
But this increase also includes — to a small degree — two players who aren’t traditional three-point shooters: Gorgui Dieng and Taj Gibson.
Gibson has taken four three-pointers. It’s a number that doesn’t sound like much but a pace of 0.5 per game would be a career high for Gibson, who has gone entire seasons without taking any.
“I wouldn’t say [I have] full neon-green light. I would say it’s a tad bit little green,” he said. “We still stick to the basics. We like the midrange, but we work on the corner threes, maybe trailing threes.”
Gibson’s two three-point attempts have both come from the corner, according to tracking data from NBA.com. Corner three-pointers are shorter than those considered “above the break” (from the wing and top of the key). Dieng has taken five attempts — four have come above the break. His average through four games of 1.3 threes per game would also set a career high, which Dieng set last season at 0.8.
“It’s even funny when you got Jimmy [Butler] and Jeff [Teague] yelling, ‘Shoot the ball! Shoot it!’ And you’re looking at where you’re standing and you said, ‘I’m really behind the three-point line?’ ” Gibson said. “They say, ‘So what? That’s how the game has changed and you have to adjust.”
Rose hits a milestone
Guard Derrick Rose played in his 500th NBA game Wednesday. The most prolific part of his career was his second set of 100 games — 100 to 200, which included part of his MVP season in 2010-11. During that stretch Rose averaged 23.3 points per game, 6.9 assists and 4.3 rebounds. Entering Wednesday, Rose was averaging 15 points, 3.7 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game over his previous 99.
Rose played 406 regular-season games with the Bulls, 64 with the Knicks, 16 with the Cavaliers and 14 with the Wolves.