October 22, 2017, 8:02 pm
Breathe. There was a lot of action down the stretch of this game with both teams trading leads and the star players putting on a show.
In the final 37 seconds of the game, Wiggins extended the lead to three with a put-back dunk, Westbrook tied the game with a pull-up 3-pointer, Towns made a floater to put the Wolves back on top and Melo answered with a go-ahead 3-pointer which looked like a game-winner.
All this set up Andrew Wiggins. With Gibson inbounding the ball and 4.7 seconds left on the clock, Wiggins got the ball in space and dribbled up the floor. Thanks to a hard (perhaps illegal) screen from Towns, he was able to get open just past the half court line and pull up from about 32 feet, where he banked in the winning shot as the clock hit zero.
Timberwolves win 115-113.
a lot can happen in 8.9 seconds pic.twitter.com/BxGOGctJ7F
— James Herbert (@outsidethenba) October 23, 2017
Wiggins finished the game with 27 points (10-of-20 shooting, 2-of-7 on threes), seven rebounds, four assists, two steals and one turnover, all season-highs. It was a signature game from Wiggins, and likely one of his best games in his young career. He able to score all over the floor, showing off a nice array of post moves, and moved well in space generating easy baskets.
He also had a nice game defensively, staying with Paul George most of the night and holding him to 14 points on 6-of-20 shooting, easily his worst game of the season. Wiggins rotated well on help defense and always seemed to be in the correct position. There is a lot of good to build on this game for him.
All five starters scored in double digits for the Wolves and it was the best that unit has looked all season. Tom Thibodeau recognized this and rode with that group most of the way, with each starter going 33 minutes, and Wiggins, Butler and Teague going 39 minutes a piece.
Towns picked up his third straight double-double, with 27 points (11-of-17 shooting), 12 rebounds, one assist, and one block. He did have four turnovers, and took seven three-pointers (making two). Both those numbers are higher than you would normally like to see.
He also had a number of defensive miscues in the paint, giving up a number of easy plays. There was also a key moment where he was caught ball watching on a defensive rebound opportunity, and he allowed Adams to get the ball and put it back in. Towns fouled Adams on the play, which brought the Thunder to within 106-105.
Towns has now done this in each game this season. These types of plays are easy to clean up and hopefully will be soon.
Jeff Teague had his best game of the season, scoring 19 points, dishing out nine assists, grabbing six rebounds, and one steal. He shot 5-of-10 from the field, 1-of-1 from deep and 8-of-8 from the line. Teague was initiating the offense much more often tonight than the first two games, and the offense really flowed well as a result.
Teague was able to get in the paint and finish, or kick out. He was hitting his jumpers on the perimeter as well. This was the type of game the Wolves paid big money for.
Jimmy Butler finished with 15 points, six assist and six rebounds. His job tonight was to slow down Westbrook, and he did a pretty good job through three-quarters. Westbrook is relentless though, and you can only hope to slow him down for stretches.
Taj Gibson posted a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. He found Towns on two nice assists off of offensive rebounds and was actually able to hold his ground against Carmelo Anthony for stretches. He did have issues holding onto the ball in the lane a few times down the stretch.
Overall the bench was quiet and didn’t play well, though Gorgui Dieng did look a little better this game compared to his last two.
This was a real entertaining game to watch. The Timberwolves came in ready to play and were able to fend off the late surge by Westbrook and hold on to win. This was also a glimpse of what can possibly be expected if the team is able to put everything together.
The starting unit was able to run a cohesive offense and there were no spacing issues to worry about. The Thunder’s defense is not on par with the Jazz or Spurs, but seeing that potential gives plenty of reason to get excited about what’s ahead.
The Timberwolves’ next game is Tuesday back home against the Indiana Pacers.
May 24, 2019, 4:32 pmKevin Durant - F - Golden State Warriors
Kevin Durant (calf strain) still hasn’t progressed to on-court work.
Durant has already been declared “unlikely” for Thursday’s Game 1 of the Finals and considering DeMarcus Cousins has practiced in full and scrimmaged with the team, it’s looking like he might return to action before Durant. There’s almost a week until the Finals start so we’ll have an update before then.
Source: Anthony Slater on Twitter
May 24, 2019, 4:10 pmDeMarcus Cousins - C - Golden State Warriors
DeMarcus Cousins (torn left quad) scrimmaged on Friday with coach Steve Kerr adding that he looked good.
It's still unclear what the timetable is for Cousins but he hasn't yet been ruled out for Game 1 of the Finals. We'll have an update as we draw closer to the start of the Finals next Thursday.
Source: Nick Friedell on Twitter
May 24, 2019, 3:52 pmAdam Silver - Commissioner - Invalid Team
The NBA has moved the start time of free agency to 6 p.m. ET on June 30.
Previously, free agency officially kicked off at 12:01 a.m. on July 1 but the league is moving it up by six hours to accommodate an extra evening in the news cycle. Additionally, teams have permission to set up free agent meetings starting at 6 p.m. ET on June 29.
Source: Marc Stein on Twitter
May 24, 2019, 3:44 pmNeil Olshey - President - Trail Blazers
The Blazers have extended the contract of President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey through 2024.
Olshey was being courted by the Wizards but will stay in Portland along with coach Terry Stotts. They’ll look to run it back next season, hopefully with a full roster intact.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter
May 24, 2019, 3:41 pmPatrick McCaw - G - Toronto Raptors
Patrick McCaw (personal) has been ruled out for Saturday’s Game 6 vs. the Bucks.
McCaw hasn’t played all series and has pretty much been a non-factor all playoffs.
Source: NBA Injury Report
May 24, 2019, 3:37 pmAndre Iguodala - G/F - Golden State Warriors
Andre Iguodala (left calf tightness) did not participate in Friday’s practice session.
Iguodala sat out Game 4 of the Conference Finals with the tight calf but the Warriors aren’t worried about him missing Game 1 of the Finals.
Source: Connor Letourneau on Twitter
May 24, 2019, 11:45 amNeil Olshey - Team - Trail Blazers
According to Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington, the Wizards have shown interest in Blazers’ President Neil Olshey becoming the new President of Basketball Operations for the Wizards.
Ted Leonsis has yet to request permission to interview Olshey, who has spent the last seven years with the Blazers and is under contract through the 2020-21 season. Masai Ujiri’s name has also been thrown around as a possible candidate and the Wizards would obviously be willing to wait until the end of playoffs before rushing to a decision.
May 24, 2019, 11:32 amNikola Jokic - C - Denver Nuggets
Nikola Jokic said he plans to play for his home country Serbia during the 2019 FIBA World Cup this Summer.
“I am very pleased with everything I did in the NBA this season, I had a great year in which I performed at the All-Star Game and was selected in the NBA All-Star Five. For me, the cherry on top of this whole season would be a medal with the national team. I am fully prepared to do my best to achieve this goal”, said Jokic, confirming his participation. He will have a little bit of time to rest up, but Serbia is expected to compete against Angola, the Philippines and Italy starting on August 31. The miles will be a test for the big man, but one he has aced before.
May 23, 2019, 11:49 pmKhris Middleton - F - Milwaukee Bucks
Khris Middleton really struggled in Thursday's Game 5, scoring six points (2-of-9 shooting) and pulling down 10 boards as the Bucks fell 105-99 at home.
Middleton's disappearing act offensively was the difference for the Bucks who really need their second best offensive option to demand the ball and produce more. The airball late in the game was a microcosm of the outing for Middleton. He'll need to take more than nine shots (less than any other Bucks starter) for the team to have a good shot at a Game 6 win in Toronto.
May 23, 2019, 11:46 pmBrook Lopez - C - Milwaukee Bucks
Brook Lopez scored 16 points and pulled down eight boards on Thursday night in a Game 6 loss.
Lopez was fine in general and wasn't really a liability, but he also didn't provide as much as needed on the defensive side or from long range. For what it's worth, he has generally outplayed his counterpart Marc Gasol in this series and tonight was no different.