The Timberwolves were defeated by the Phoenix Suns on Monday, 107-104.
Andrew Wiggins converted a layup to tie things up at 104 with 4.9 seconds remaining in the final frame. But on the ensuing possession, Mirza Teletovic knocked down his fifth 3-pointer of the night that would give Phoenix the lead, and ultimately the win, 107-104. “We gave this one away,” Zach LaVine said afterward, as was reported by The AP’s Jose Romero over at NBA.com.
“We should have come out and had a better outing in the third quarter and been more aggressive and more efficient and little more smart with our play,” LaVine, having scored a team-high 28 points on 10-of-15 shooting (3-of-7 3PT FG) in 31 minutes of playing time, added shortly thereafter.
The starting lineup of Ricky Rubio, Zach LaVine, Andrew Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns and Gorgui Dieng could not overcome yet another lackluster showing by the Wolves’ bench, who scored merely 12-points. Rubio tallied a career-high-tying 17 assists, scored 13 points and finished with a team-high in terms of plus-minus (+10). Andrew Wiggins added 22 points on 9-of-14 shooting in 40 minutes of playing time. Karl-Anthony Towns posted his 38th double-double of the season, scoring 17 points (6-of-13 FG) to go with 10 rebounds. Shabazz Muhammad scored 10 of the Wolves’ 12-bench points.
The loss to Phoenix comes no more than a few days removed from the Wolves’ spirited, 99-96, win over the Oklahoma City Thunder last Friday — secured by Rubio’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer.
“That’s the NBA,” Wolves interim head coach Sam Mitchell told the Star Tribune on Monday night. “Guys make shots. Running away from the basket, he hit a tough shot. You have to give it to him. I thought our defense was good. The disappointing thing about it is you’re going to lose games and teams are going to beat you and make shots.”[NBA.com, Star Tribune]