Timberwolves Blowout Jazz

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Wolves have had plenty of blowouts this year, but usually because they score 120, not because their opponent can barely crack 70.

That was unusual.

The big story of this game was the Jazz managing only 23 points in the first half, as they could not hit the broad side of a barn from almost any distance.  This abject performance was highlighted by Derrick Favors missing two dunks on the same play in the 2nd quarter, but featured horrific shooting throughout.

Some credit must be given to the Wolves defense, which did a great job of stopping penetration (especially Ricky Rubio on Trey Burke, who was unable to get into the lane and finished the first half 1 of 7 from the field and had no impact), and defending the interior.

In truth, the Wolves offense was fairly stagnant early on as well, as they were unable to pull away through the middle of the 2nd quarter, when the starters returned to the floor and began finding their rhythm behind Kevin Love and especially Nikola Pekovic, who finished with a game high 27 points on 12-17 from the floor.

The game was essentially over at halftime, as the Wolves went to break with a 28 point lead (51-23), came out of the break scoring the first seven points of the third quarter, and proceeded to cruise from there, with Pekovic dropping in shot after shot.  Each Wolves starter was at least +30 and none of them played even 30 minutes, a nice break after last night's game in Toronto.

Meanwhile, despite playing somewhat better in the 2nd half (it couldn't be worse), the Jazz still finished the game at 28% from the field. Only one Jazz finished in double figures (Alec Burks had 18), and none of their 11 players who took a shot from the field managed to shoot 50%.

The Wolves break their three game losing streak in resounding fashion, but will be back at it against the same Jazz squad on Tuesday in Utah.  I expect we'll see a more competitive game out there, but it's another one the Wolves have to win if they want to climb out of the hole they have put themselves in.

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