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Timberwolves Beat Blazers, End Losing Streak

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The Wolves Win! The Wolves Win! The Wolves Win!

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

That was unexpected.

Facing a 17-4 Blazers squad that casually took them apart a couple of weeks ago in Portland, the Wolves got a big win tonight at Target Center, 90-81.

Several stories from this one, and John will have the full recap later, but some notes:

  • The Wolves played terrific defense. They switched all pick and rolls, and double teamed LaMarcus Aldridge relentlessly, which threw the Blazers off their game. The rotations to shooters were good (though the Wolves also had the good fortune that the Blazers had an off shooting night.
  • They forced a ton of turnovers, many of the live ball variety, with active hands and quick close-outs. It was an impressive defensive performance.
  • Andrew Wiggins had his best game as a pro. 22 points, 10 boards, 4 assists, a couple of steals. Still a few too many jumpers for my taste, but they went in tonight, and he was extremely active and involved in all phases. That's how the Wolves need him to play. The rebounding especially was big.
  • Speaking of which, the Wolves dominated the glass 56-38, including 20-11 on the offensive end. That was huge. They kept a ton of possessions alive with offensive rebounds.
  • Corey Brewer had 6 steals and was super active tonight.
  • A few big moments: End of the 3rd quarter, Blazers within 12. LaVine had a terrible turnover, but Wiggins made a spectacular play to break up a 3-1 break, got the ball ahead to Brewer, who hit a 3 (the Wolves only 3 of the night) at the buzzer to push it back to 15. Huge. Later, Wolves up 8, Wiggins with a key jumper, the Brewer steals the inbounds and gets fouled.
That's enough from me for now. John will be here later with the full write up.

Enjoy this one.