3/4: Timberwolves Lose 116-101 at Milwaukee Bucks

The Minnesota Timberwolves were defeated by the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night, 116-101.

Interim Coach, Sam Mitchell, left three starters — Ricky Rubio, Andrew Wiggins, and Karl-Anthony Towns — on the bench during a solid chunk of the second half, even after the Wolves went on a 25-5 run that had cut what was at one point a 27-point deficit down to 7 with roughly 5:00 minutes remaining in the final frame.

After trailing by six at the end of the first quarter, Milwaukee during the second and third outscored the Wolves by 23 (69-46). Khris Middleton scored 32 points (11-of-16 FG, 8-of-9 3PT) and Giannis Antetokounmpo added 27 (9-of-17 FG) to go with 12 assists and 9 rebounds while Milwaukee created 41 points off of 26 turnovers, in addition to making 14-of-24 attempts from three point range, en route to their second victory over the Wolves this season.

The Wolves’ starters — Rubio, Wiggins, Towns, Gorgui Dieng and Zach LaVine — logged 11 minutes and were outscored by 19 points (41-22). The aforementioned 25-5 run was spearheaded by the three-man lineup combination of LaVine, Tyus Jones and Shabazz Muhammad — the Wolves outscored Milwaukee 52-45 during the 24 minutes in which LaVine, Jones and Muhammad shared the floor. 

“I thought the guys who played in the second half played hard,” Mitchell said after the game. “Played together, played with a type of intensity and energy we needed to. I thought some of the guys in the first group didn’t play that way. And they have to understand, every single night you have to earn it. You don’t get to sleepwalk your way through 20, 25 minutes of the game and then decide you gotta play. … So the guys that didn’t play in the second half, after we pulled ’em out, hopefully they understand that there’s two sides on the court. You have to play both sides.”


Antetokounmpo’s hard foul on Muhammad during the second half seemingly ended any chance of a potential friendship between these two players. “Shabazz, he doesn’t like me,” Antetokounmpo said after the game. “He just destroyed history right there.”

[Star Tribune] [NBA.com]
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