In one of the most complete offensive performances of the season, the Timberwolves cruised past the Pistons in Detroit tonight 121-94.
The Wolves scored over 30 points in each of the first three quarters, building a 19 point lead heading into the fourth quarter, and the game never got close after that.
It was an excellent team effort on offense tonight, led by Kevin Love's monster 26, 17, and 7 line in only 30 minutes, and supplemented by five other Wolves in double figures. Ricky Rubio went 15 and 9, and looked as comfortable as he has in a while, Nikola Pekovic dominated early on his way to 18 points, Kevin Martin also had 18 on 9 shots, Corey Brewer had 11 and J.J. Barea came off the bench for 10.
The Wolves ran fantastic offense, getting 44 points in the paint, 33 on 11 of 24 from three, and 28 (on 33 attempts) at the line. That's 105 points from those three spots, which is ideal offense. They moved the ball very efficiently, getting 31 assists on 41 field goals. They were able to break down the Pistons defense with ball and player movement as well as dribble penetration, and Detroit was never able to get stops consistently.
When the Wolves did miss, they did a great job on the offensive glass, out dueling the league leaders in that category 14-11, They also won the turnover battle 20-12 after a poor start in that area. They only turned the ball over twice in the 2nd half as they stretched a 13 point lead to as many as 30 late in the game.
As an added bonus, with a heavy schedule coming up, the Wolves were able to rest their guys; Nikola Pekovic led the team with 33 minutes. Love and Martin only played 30 each, and Rubio 28. Hopefully that will help tomorrow night at home against the 76ers.
The Pistons shot the ball fairly well, especially the starting lineup where nobody was worse than 50% from the field, but could not keep up with the Wolves on the free throw line where they went only 8-16.
- Kentavious Caldwell-Pope looked impressive for a rookie, scoring 16 points on 7-14 from the floor with a couple of impressive moves. Also had a chase down block on Kevin Love that was very nice. He would certainly look good in a Wolves uniform. Damn it.
- Alexey Shved got a six minute shift in the first half and looked as lively as he has in a while. Got a little wild in the 4th quarter, but overall it was much less dour then his play has been of late.
- Robbie Hummel, who has fallen out of the rotation with the arrival of Luc Mbah a Moute, had a solid 10 minutes in which he scored 10 points and had a couple of nice putbacks and a dribble pull up.
- Chase Budinger was with the team on this trip for the first time this year. He shot around before the game and looks like he's getting a lot closer to playing.