Road Reaction: Bucks 98, Timberwolves 84
The Timberwolves’ latest loss is comparable to the contemporary American comedy sequel.
Different movie, same script.
Despite another notice-serving night from rookie Andrew Wiggins in front of 15,480 spectators, Minnesota (5-30) ran its losing streak to 14 games — four off tying the club’s longest ever — with lackluster defense and three of its starters out injured. The Bucks (19-18) took full advantage of the Wolves’ continued ineptitude, pulling away in the second quarter against the Western Conference’s bottom-most franchise.
1 big moment: The Wolves led, 22-19, after a quarter but were outscored 34-16 in the second, including a 17-5 run midway through the frame. Big man John Henson scored five straight points during that jaunt, throwing down an alley-oop from O.J. Mayo (who hit back-to-back 3s to kickstart the run) and finishing a 3-point play after a hook shot, making it 34-26 at the 8:04 mark.
2 top performers: Wiggins tallied 20 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two steals in his sixth straight 20-plus-point performance, a Wolves rookie record. He joined Kevin Garnett, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Jrue Holiday, Kyrie Irving and Tracy McGrady as the only teenagers to ever have 20 or more points, seven or more boards and five or more assists in an NBA game.
Henson and Mayo led a spread-out scoring effort with 12 points apiece, helping the Bucks bench outscore the Wolves’ 52-30.
3 key stats: The Bucks scored more than one-fourth of their points (28) off 17 Wolves turnovers. Minnesota came in averaging 15.1 turnovers per game, the league’s seventh-worst mark.
The teams combined to shoot 14 for 39 (35.9 percent) in the third quarter. Minnesota had ample opportunities to rally but missed 13 of 19 field-goal attempts in the frame.
The Bucks shot 52 percent from the floor. The Wolves, who rank last in the NBA in opponent field-goal percentage (49.5 percent), have allowed four of their past five and 17 of their 35 total adversaries to make at least half their shots.
Said: "We’ve done some things where we’ve played pretty well. We’re getting better. We just haven’t been able to close games. History hasn’t shown it, but we are getting better. There’s no question that Wiggins has continued to improve, (center Gorgui Dieng has) continued to evolve. Our young guys have continued to improve. The biggest thing when I talk to (opposing coaches) afterward, they say, ‘I was watching you early (in the season) and watching you now and seeing you, the development of those guys, it’s like night and day, the difference.’ So that’s the silver lining." — Saunders
Seen: Center Miroslav Raduljica, signed Thursday to a 10-day contract, made his Wolves debut against his former NBA team. A Bucks rookie last season, he finished with four points and two rebounds in 8 minutes, 34 seconds.
Next: The Wolves return home on the second day of a back-to-back. They’ll square off with defending champion San Antonio — which beat Phoenix at home Friday night — at 7 p.m. Saturday. After that, Minnesota sets out on a four-game road trip.
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