Wolves Lose To Charlotte Hornets, 108-103

The Minnesota Timberwolves were defeated by the Charlotte Hornets on Monday night, 108-103, despite strong a performance from the starting lineup of Ricky Rubio, Zach LaVine, Andrew Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns and Gorgui Dieng. The starters received virtually no help from the bench, who did not score a point until late in the third frame in what was the 15th consecutive game that the Wolves gave up 100 or more points.

After trailing by as many as 16 during the second quarter, the Wolves used a 14-0 run, propelled by Wiggins, LaVine and Towns, who combined for 19 points (16-of-30 FG) during the first half, to pull ahead by two at halftime, 49-47. But during the third quarter, Kemba Walker would go 7-of-9 from the field (5-of-5 from beyond the arc) including a jumpshot with 1:52 left that gave Charlotte the lead for good, 74-73. It is the third straight 30-points game for Walker, who scored 21 of his 34 points in the third frame.

“I just made a few shots,” Walker told the Associated Press. “I had to step up a little bit, trying to get the momentum back and trying to bring some energy.

Charlotte received a combined 39-bench points from the likes of Al Jefferson, Jeremy Lin, Frank Kaminsky and Jeremy Lamb, outscoring the Wolves’ bench — Tyus Jones, Shabazz Muhammad, Damjan Rudez, Adreian Payne, Tayshaun Prince and Greg Smith — by a whopping 29 (28-9).

The Wolves’ starters outscored Charlotte’s starting five, 95-70.

We weren’t starting the right way, but it clicked in and we were playing well,” Rubio told the Star Tribune. “We had the game, and then, in the third, Kemba got hot.”

“I thought our guys played hard,” Interim Coach, Sam Mitchell, said after the game. “But our guys ran out of gas. We just couldn’t hold it. Our bench wasn’t very good tonight.”

[Star Tribune, NBA.com]


Apparently — granted it’s nothing the Wolves aren’t used to seeing on a semi-regular basis — not even LaVine’s 360 dunk in transition could fire up the bench. (H/t @peter_Zimny)

Here’s two of Wiggins’ three And-1 plays.

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