• The Timberwolves were down 12 points at one point through the third quarter and it was looking more like the Wolves were just going to drag their feet through the latter portions of the game and into the All-Star break.

    The Lakers were humming offensively, controlling the tempo and getting easy baskets all over the floor. They were dominating the offensive glass, particularly Ivica Zubac who had four offensive rebounds and put-backs on the night to go along with 19 points on 8-of-8 shooting off the bench.

    The Wolves couldn’t put two stops together in a row and the Lakers’ defense started to tighten the grip. After scoring 35 in the first quarter, the Wolves trended down to 27 and then 22 in the third. It looked like they had just ran out of gas before the extended All-Star break.

    Then they were able to get a couple of sparks from the vets. First it was Taj Gibson who picked up offensive rebounds and put-backs on consecutive possessions late in the third quarter. His efforts sparked a run that ignited the Wolves the rest of the game. He finished with 28 points, seven rebounds, one assist, one steal and two blocks.

    The next spark came from Jamal Crawford. He banked in a 17-footer shortly after Gibson’s efforts and it was just enough to set him into super-nova. He scored the next eight points for the Wolves, and 11-of-14 during the run. He also picked up a heads-up assist which seemed to wake Jimmy Butler up a bit.

    Butler had missed a corner 3-pointer, but the ball was tipped out by Gibson straight to Crawford. Butler’s man found himself out of position and Butler cut to the basket, leaving him open for an alley-oop slam.

    Butler went on to score the next nine points for the Wolves, but his signature moment came on the defensive end. Julius Randle had a sure-dunk under the rim. Towns was conceding the basket, not willing to risk picking up his sixth foul, and no one else was around. Butler seemingly came out of no where and blocked him from behind.

    Randle saved the ball and passed out to Isaiah Thomas, who then attacked the rim and went up for a layup where Butler came flying in once again and blocked Thomas. This time the Wolves recovered and were able to ice the game at the line. Where Crawford and Gibson sparked the victory, Butler emphatically sealed it.

    In the end the Wolves were down 12 points when Gibson had his first offensive rebound and put-back late in the third, and they went on the out-score the Lakers by 20 points to close out the game with some huge momentum plays.

    The Wolves have to be feeling good headed into the break after a victory like that. It wasn’t pretty but the way they closed out the game and took care of business on defense and with the energy plays in the end was the key.

    As a team they shot 46.7 percent overall, but just 25 percent from beyond the arc on 6-of-24 shooting. They did make 29-of-31 at the line, however, and only turned the ball over 10 times.

    In addition to Gibson’s huge line, Butler finished with 20 points, five rebounds, four assists, one steal and three blocks. He shot 7-of-20 from the floor, including 0-of-7 from the arc. He hit 10-of-11 free throws.

    Crawford finished with 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting, with three assists and two 3-pointers.

    Jeff Teague quietly had another nice game with 20 points, six assists, three rebounds, two 3-pointers and one block. He looks like he’s shook off his injury and is back in a groove.

    Karl-Anthony Towns was quiet offensively with 10 points on 2-of-9 shooting. He made all six of his free throws, though, and added 19 rebounds, four assists and two blocks to his line.

    Andrew Wiggins was noticeably absent in the entire fourth quarter. He checked out of the game for good in the third. It remains to be seen if he is injured or if this was Thibs giving Wigs an early start to the break.

    He finished with 8 points on 4-of-11 shooting and four rebounds.

    Most the the Wolves will get an extended All-Star break, though Butler and Towns will report to Los Angeles and participate in the All-Star weekend. Both players are only slated to play in the All-Star game, teaming up on Team Steph.

    The Wolves resume live action as a team next Friday in Houston.

Fantasy News

  • Jeff Teague
    PG, Minnesota Timberwolves

    Jeff Teague (left ankle) is not expected to have any restrictions for training camp.

    Teague had a left ankle debridement procedure in April to help alleviate inflammation. Teague's ankles have given him trouble throughout his career and he only played 42 games last season. With a clean bill of health Teague will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing season.

    Source: Chris Hine of the Star Tribune

  • Derrick White
    PG, San Antonio Spurs

    Derrick White has reportedly passed the first concussion test after taking a nasty fall in Team USA's tuneup game vs. the Australian Boomers on Saturday.

    This is good news. White has worked hard for his Team USA roster spot and should provide some guard depth for them once he clears concussion protocols. He was an eye-opener last season and should still hold some fantasy value despite the return of a now-healthy Dejounte Murray.

    Source: Tom Orsborn on Twitter

  • Kyle Kuzma
    PF, Los Angeles Lakers

    Kyle Kuzma (sore left ankle) will not take part in the FIBA World Cup as Team USA announces its final roster.

    Kuzma sat out Team USA's final tuneup against Australia on Saturday as Marc Stein reports that he is flying back to Los Angeles to get treatment. We should still expect him to be ready for training and congrats to Mason Plumlee for making the team as many speculated that he would be the final cut.

    Source: Marc Stein on Twitter

  • Kemba Walker
    PG, Boston Celtics

    Kemba Walker scored 22 points on 7-of-15 shooting with four rebounds with two assists as USA Basketball had it's 78-game winning streak in tournament and exhibition games snapped on Saturday.

    Walker continues to assert himself as the team's best player but USA losing to Australia was the much bigger story in this one. Harrison Barnes also played well as he chipped in 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting to go with six rebounds. USA will take on Canada on Monday in their last exhibition before taking on the Czech Republic in the first official match of the tournament on September 1.

    Source: USAB.com

  • Derrick White
    PG, San Antonio Spurs

    Derrick White left Saturday’s game after tripping and hitting his head on the floor.

    White left without help but there is no word yet on whether he is dealing with a concussion. He finished with eight points, hitting 6-of-7 three throws in nine minutes with another update sure to come. The third-year guard put up top-125 per-game value, playing 25.8 minutes in his second season. Even with the return of Dejounte Murray, White should still be worth a roster spot in most standard leagues.

    Source: Jeff Garcia on Twitter

  • Marcus Smart
    PG, Boston Celtics

    Marcus Smart, sidelined for almost three weeks with calf tightness, returned to action on Saturday as USA lost to Australia in their exhibition.

    Smart only played nine minutes in this one but still managed to score 7 points with three assists days after being named one of the team’s co-captains. Coming off an NBA All-Defensive First Team selection, he produced top-100 per game fantasy value as it seems he may have finally fixed his shot after shooting under 40 percent from the field in his first four seasons. He also produced a career-high in both steals and triples with 1.8 and 1.6 respectively as his career seems to be on the up and up.

    Source: USAB.com

  • Patty Mills
    PG, San Antonio Spurs

    Patty Mills went off in the fourth quarter and finished with 30 points as Australia beat USA 98-94.

    Although it was only an exhibition, it was still a huge moment for Mills and the Australian team in front of a huge crowd as they handed the US team their first loss since 2006. Mills was serenaded with MVP chants as Joe Ingles also played well with 15 points on 6-of-12 shooting with four rebounds and seven assists while Andrew Bogut came off the bench for 16 points, nine rebounds and four assists in 20 minutes, shooting 7-of-8 from the field.

    Source: USAB.com

  • Kyle Kuzma
    PF, Los Angeles Lakers

    Kyle Kuzma is out for Team USA's tuneup up game vs. Australia with a sore left ankle.

    Kuzma is being held out of this one for precautionary reasons. There's clearly no need for USA Basketball to risk him further injuring the sore ankle. This does not sound like a serious injury and should not affect his fantasy ADP on draft day.

    Source: USA Basketball on Twitter

  • Dwight Howard
    C, Memphis Grizzlies

    Dwight Howard has agreed with the Grizzlies on a buyout, and will sign a non-guaranteed contract with the Lakers.

    The Lakers are giving Howard an opportunity to be fantasy relevant. When given minutes, Dwight can produce double-doubles with the best of them, but he has been changing teams for years now. He will be worth a gamble at the end of your draft if camp with the Lakers goes well, but this is a non-guaranteed deal, and he only played nine games last season.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • Marcus Derrickson
    PF, Atlanta Hawks

    The Hawks signed Marcus Derrickson to an Exhibit 10 contract on Friday.

    It looks like Derrickson will be a G-League option for the Hawks, so there's nothing to see here. At one point he was competing for the last roster spot on the team. We don't need to keep of track of every computer-generated player.

    Source: Chris Vivlamore on Twitter