The Minnesota Timberwolves were defeated by the Utah Jazz on Saturday, 93-84. The loss comes a day after the Wolves escaped Washington win a win over the Wizards in a game that had gone to double-overtime.
Three Timberwolves finished in double-digits, led by Ricky Rubio, who scored a game-high 23 points to go with six assists, five rebounds and four steals. Karl-Anthony Towns added 14 points and 11 rebounds while Andrew Wiggins, after being held scoreless during the first half, missing each of his six field goal attempts, posted 13 points on 4-of-12 shooting.
Zach LaVine and Gorgui Dieng combined for 15 points (5-of-17 FG), three rebounds and four assists.
Each member of the starting lineup — Rubio, Wiggins, Towns, LaVine, and Dieng — finished with a positive plus-minus.
Interim coach Sam Mitchell would not simply chalk up the loss as a result of the Wolves being too fatigued. However, during his postgame press conference, Mitchell said that it was one of those nights when “the mind was willing but the body just couldn’t follow.”
“Give Utah credit, though,” Mitchell said, “we’re not going to sit here and use fatigue or playing a double-overtime game – this is the NBA, everybody has to do it.”
“We’re a little sluggish, but we kept fighting, we were good,” LaVine said afterward. “We just didn’t have the legs, shots were short, our timing was a little off, but we kept hanging in there. They made their run and it was just hard for us to get back into it.”
“We didn’t shoot the ball tremendously well today,” Towns said.
“Maybe we wasted it all yesterday, trying to get that double-overtime win.”
“Experience about the league, it teaches you how to be ready for the back-to-back, save your legs and pick when to waste your energy,” Rubio added.
“You can’t blame them, the starters last night played a great two overtimes. [Gorgui] had a big shot, [Karl] was unbelievable, Zach, too, so it’s just one of those nights.”