Timberwolves Wrap: Clippers beat Wolves with ease

The Los Angeles Clippers improved their record to 9-1 on the season with an easy win over the Timberwolves at Target Center on Saturday night.

Los AngelesClippers

119

MinnesotaTimberwolves

105

The Timberwolves were feeling good after a road win in Orlando on Wednesday night and enjoying a couple of days off before welcoming Ricky Rubio back to the lineup on Saturday evening.

But the bad news was that the opponent was the one-loss Clippers. And even though they were coming off of a hard-fought, two-point win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday, Doc Rivers‘ aging squad dominated this one from start to finish.

The Clippers got off to a fast start, building a 13-point lead by the end of the first quarter. The Wolves’ bench outplayed L.A.’s in the second frame, however, and brought the Wolves all the way back into a tie game before the Clippers pulled back ahead and led by nine at halftime.

J.J. Redick was unstoppable early, and Blake Griffin wore down Karl-Anthony Towns and Gorgui Dieng in the paint. The Wolves offense was okay throughout, but they simply could not slow down the Clippers on the other end of the floor.

The Wolves’ bench had another strong span of minutes in the second half, bringing the Wolves back to within 11 points midway through the fourth quarter. A couple of empty possessions interspersed with hack-a-Deandre Jordan that didn’t exactly go according to plan (Jordan was 10-of-16 from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter), however, and the game was all but over.

This was simply a case of a superior, veteran team dominating the inexperienced Wolves in nearly every facet of the game. And now, the Wolves have to turn around and host the surprising Los Angeles Lakers at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday night.

Tweet of the Night

Star of the Night

DeAndre Jordan: 18 points (4-6 FG, 10-16 FT), 16 rebounds, 2 blocks, 2 steals, one assist

Jordan was solid throughout and dominated on the glass — Towns was the only Wolves player with more than six rebounds, and he finished with only 10 boards on the night.

Most importantly, Jordan was good enough down the stretch when Minnesota was intentionally fouling him away from the ball to send the career 42 percent free throw shooter to not allow the game to be extended too much.

Notable Timberwolves Lines

  • Karl-Anthony Towns: 24 points (10-18 FG, 1-3 3P, 3-4 FT), 10 rebounds, 2 blocks, 2 assists, 2 steals, 3 turnovers
  • Andrew Wiggins: 22 points (8-24 FG, 1-4 3P, 5-5 FT), 4 rebounds, 3 assists, one steal, 3 turnovers
  • Zach LaVine: 15 points (7-15 FG, 1-5 3P), 4 assists, 3 rebounds, 2 steals, one block
  • Ricky Rubio: 7 points (2-5 FG, 1-2 3P, 2-4 FT), 6 assists, 6 rebounds, one steal, 3 turnovers, 24 minutes

Who’s Up Next?

The Wolves host the Lakers on Sunday evening. The other team from Los Angeles is now 6-4 after destroying the one-win Pelicans in New Orleans on Friday night.

The Timberwolves should have an advantage in not having to travel this weekend, although both teams will be playing on the second part of a back-to-back. It’s a winnable game for the Wolves, and it would be important to not fall any further than their current record of 2-6.

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