SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Othyus Jeffers had 13 points and six rebounds to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 98-89 preseason victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday night.
Gorgui Dieng, a 6-foot-11 rookie center out of national champion Louisville, pulled down nine rebounds and blocked four shots for Minnesota.
“He’s a smart player,” Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman said. “He knows what we want him to do. He’s not intimidated by anybody.”
John Henson led the Bucks with 16 points and Caron Butler added 13. Milwaukee finished with 23 turnovers.
The Bucks got into foul trouble in the first half with center Larry Sanders drawing four early fouls.
Bucks coach Larry Drew said he’s short-handed up front but didn’t want to tax Henson or Sanders with too many minutes. He said 20 to 25 minutes for each was plenty. Henson played 25 minutes, 10 more than Sanders.
“The one thing I didn’t want to do was I didn’t want to run John or Larry into the ground,” Drew said.
The game was played before a sellout crowd of 3,250 at the Sanford Pentagon, the home of the NBA D-League’s Skyforce.
Fan favorite Nate Wolters, a rookie out of South Dakota State, got the start at point guard for the Bucks. He scored 10 points in 20 minutes and Drew took him out of the game with 14 seconds left to a standing ovation.
“He’s a really good coach, a really good guy and I appreciated him doing that,” Wolters said.
The Timberwolves were 1 of 7 from behind the 3-point line in the first half then made consecutive 3s to open the third quarter and finished 7 of 15 from beyond the arc for the game.