The Wolves outscored the Nuggets by 11 points in the 2nd half, including 28-22 in the fourth quarter to grab a win in Denver making them 2-1 on this road trip. After looking incapable of stopping the Nuggets from scoring at will through large chunks of the game, and giving up a bunch of offensive rebounds, the Wolves buckled down late and got the stops they needed to pull out just their 7th win of the season. As a team, they looked as good as they have in weeks, maybe months, and it was a satisfying night in Denver.
There are several big stories from this one, but let's start here: just about everyone made big plays in the fourth quarter to help win tonight. That makes it an especially satisfying win. Robbie Hummel, who got the start tonight and played well throughout had two huge put backs to keep the Wolves afloat midway through the quarter. Gorgui Dieng hit two huge bank shots late to keep the Wolves in the lead. Andrew Wiggins (on whom more later) had a monster and-one down the stretch, and Mo Williams hit three late jumpers after struggling with his shot all night to ice the win. It was sweet.
The big individual story was Andrew Wiggins, who scored a career high 31 to go along with nine rebounds, four assists, and three blocks in what was probably his best game as a pro. He was fantastic, shooting 11-17 from the floor and 4-5 from three; finishing through contact and not settling. It was fantastic, and it's nights like this when you can really believe he's going to be a star.
The other story is Robbie Hummel, who took full advantage of the chance to start. He played a team high 43 minutes, and finished with 15 and 13, including those two huge putbacks mentioned above, and proved to be the Wolves best rebounder. It's so fantastic to see a guy who suffered the injuries he had, and drafted at the end of the 2nd round, emerge and carve out a career for himself. Hey, we need to put this one in the win column for David Kahn, don't we?
- So far unmentioned is Thad Young, who had a very good night. 22 points, 6 rebs, 5 assists, 3 steals. He made a nice living tonight on the left block, and while he made a couple of glaring errors, (an early 3 pointer at the end of the third quarter when they should have held it and a turnover that led to a 5 point play late), overall it was a good night for Young.
- The game is much easier when you make shots. The Wolves shot 54% from the field and went 19-21 from the line, which was enough to overcome giving up 13 offensive rebounds and losing the turnover battle.
- Should mention that Zach LaVine had a pretty good shift in the 2nd half with a couple of dunks and a 3 pointer to help the Wolves at the start of the 4th quarter. It was a brief stretch, but it was as good as he's looked in a while.
- This was a fun one. Enjoy it. Next up is the Hornets in Charlotte on Monday afternoon.