The Minnesota Timberwolves were defeated by the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City on Friday, 98-85. Six days earlier, at the Target Center back on March 26, Utah defeated the Wolves, 93-84.
Andrew Wiggins was held scoreless as the Wolves tallied merely 34 points throughout the first half of last Saturday’s matchup between these teams.
On Friday, Wiggins scored 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting (2-of-4 3PT) in the opening frame. And with help from Shabazz Muhammad and Nemanja Bjelica, who had combined to score 21 points on 8-of-10 shooting (4-of-5 3PT), the Wolves put up 49 on one of the NBA’s stingiest defensive clubs during the first half. Still, Utah led by a basket after two quarters, 51-49.
“It was nice to see him playing like he was earlier in the season,” Mitchell said of Bjelica, as reported by the Star Tribune’s Jerry Zgoda.
Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns scored each of the Wolves’ 19 third-quarter points — Towns had 13 of them on 5-of-8 (1-of-1 3PT) shooting.
At the start of the fourth quarter, the rest of the starters — Ricky Rubio, Zach LaVine, Gorgui Dieng — had shot a combined 3-of-15 (1-of-5 3PT) en route to eight points. LaVine, coming off his first scoreless game in recent memory, did not score against Utah until the final frame, and finished with just three points.
KAT (13pts) & Wiggins (8pts) are the only 2 players to score in the 2nd half for MIN.
Jazz 82-70 w/ 10:07 left 4Q.
— Alan Horton (@WolvesRadio) April 2, 2016
The Wolves trailed by nine when the fourth quarter began and would never come any closer than that.
Utah defended well, without fouling, limiting the Wolves — who attempt an average of 27.9 free throws per game — to only 10 visits to the charity stripe on Friday night.
“In the beginning of the second half, we started getting a little separation,” Jazz head coach Quin Snyder told The AP’s Kareem Copeland after the game.
“We didn’t let up.”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iJ2Zgc-L3I[Star Tribune, NBA.com]