Wolves’ Wiggins finding stroke from downtown

With an established star and several young talents to build around, the Minnesota Timberwolves are attempting to establish themselves as a playoff contender once again.

From established players like Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins to newcomers like Josh Okogie and Jarrett Culver, we’re taking a weekly look at the present, and future, of the Wolves.

Each Thursday we’ll also track the progress of the Iowa Wolves standouts who might be of help to the Wolves in the future, or a current member of Minnesota’s roster.

This is the 12th edition of the 2019-20 Young Wolves Tracker.

Spotlight on …

Forward Andrew Wiggins

Look, nothing is going well for the Wolves.

Minnesota heads into Saturday’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers with a 10-game losing streak, its second long drought of the 2019-20 season. But we’ll look for a few positives surrounding the franchise in this week’s tracker.

Every once in a while, Wiggins shows flashes of All-Star potential. He did it again Monday night in the Timberwolves’ heartbreaking 133-129 loss to Sacramento.

Wiggins went off for 36 points, his biggest outing of the season since he put up 40 in a win over Golden State on Nov. 8. He cashed in 13 of 21 attempts from the field while also collecting eight assists and nine rebounds. Now that’s the production Minnesota is looking for from one of its two max-contract players.

The 24-year-old drained his first six attempts from 3-point range to tie a career mark … in the third quarter.

Wiggins connected on one more 3 before the final buzzer sounded to officially set a career high and finished the night 7 of 11 from downtown. The former top pick only has four career games with 5+ 3-pointers and hadn’t achieved the feat since 2017.

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Wiggins was efficient last week, posting a 55.2% field-goal percentage and shooting 48.3% from 3-point land. He’s also scored 22+ points in his last four games.


— Shabazz Napier continues to stuff his stat sheet. He tallied his first career triple-double Saturday night against Oklahoma City with 10 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists. Two days later, Napier posted 10 points, eight assists and six rebounds against Sacramento.

— Second-round pick Jaylen Nowell poured in 32 points on 14-of-20 shooting for the G League Iowa Wolves in a 108-106 victory over Erie last Thursday night.

— Keita Bates-Diop continues to prove he can produce when given the opportunity. He scored 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting in 19 minutes on Saturday. In the six games he’s seen 24+ minutes this season, Bates-Diop has reached double-digit points in every contest but one.