This was, frankly, the kind of response Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau was looking for after his team lost another big lead in a loss to Charlotte Tuesday. The Wolves played well from start to finish, the defense was steady, the rebounding stout and the offense efficient. The result was a 24-point win over a Philadelphia team that shot just 37.3 percent.
“I thought we came out ready to play,” Thibodeau said. “Our defense was pretty good in the first half. Second half I thought we played tough. Rebounding was good. Sharing the ball was good. Overall, very pleased.’’
This is about as much as Thibodeau can praise a team.
With that in mind, here are a few observations about the game:
--Andrew Wiggins is on first. He scored 35 points tonight, tied his career high with 10 rebounds and had four assists. He hit 14 of 20 shots, three of six three-pointers. He is now averaging 33.0 points and 5.6 rebounds over his last six games. Tonight was his second career 30-point, 10-rebound game.
--Karl-Anthony Towns was right behind him. Seemingly more determined than ever to get to the basket and not settle for jumpers, he scored 25 points on 12-for-18 shooting and had 10 points. Curiously, though, he didn’t get to the free throw line again for the second straight game, something Thibodeau commented on after the game. “I’m concerned he’s not getting to the free throw line at all,’’ Thibodeau said. “That’s a concern for me. Particularly when he was posting quite a bit tonight. We have to take a look at that, see why he’s not getting calls.’’
--The Wolves shot better than 50 percent for the fifth time this season, the second-highest total in the league in this young season.
--Neither Ricky Rubio nor Kris Dunn had big stats tonight, but Thibodeau credited their perimeter ball pressure for much of the team’s defensive success tonight. The starting 76ers guard combo of Robert Covington and Ersan Ilyasova were a combined 6-for-24 tonight.
--This game marked the 14th time in team history that three players had double-doubles in the same game. Tonight it was Wiggins, Towns and Gorgui Dieng (12 points, 10 rebounds). It was the first time since Kevin Love, Nikola Pekovic and Ricky Rubio did it against the Lakers in Los Angeles on Nov. 10 of 2013.