AMES, Iowa - The Wolves fell to 1-3 in the preseason without Jimmy Butler - still waiting to be traded - with a a 125-107 loss to the Bucks at Hilton Coliseum on the Iowa State campus.
Rookie Josh Okogie got the start for a resting Derrick Rose on Sunday. The Wolves continued their trend of falling behind in the first quarter, something they were looking to address. The Wolves have allowed 30 or more points in the first quarter of each preseason game.
“We have to be on the same page as a team defensively,” Karl-Anthony Towns said. “We gave up too many threes to a team that shoots threes.”
The Bucks were 13-for-36 (36 percent) from three-point range, and coach Tom Thibodeau was concerned that the Wolves fouled a lot of jump shooters.
“That’s a problem,” Thibodeau said.
Towns kept the Wolves in the game through the second quarter as he scored 23 of his 33 points in the first half. He seemed to relish his toe-to-big toe matchup with another of the league’s pre-eminent big men, Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Antetokounmpo flashed his athleticism with a thunderous jam while Towns didn’t back down when Antetokounmpo bodied him up on the other end.
“He’s a great player, a great human as well,” Towns said. “With his length and everything it’s always a fun matchup. I’ve always loved playing against the best of the best.”
The Wolves defense prevented a comeback while playing without forward Taj Gibson, who injured his left ankle in the first half. Thibodeau said Gibson could have returned, and Gibson said he was fine.