Wow. The Wolves showed an incredible amount of guts pulling out an overtime win over the Jazz in Utah with only seven players available on the 2nd night of a back to back. It was a shocking turn of events as the Wolves bombed away from three late to get the game to overtime, then controlled the extra period and hung on for the 106-104 win.
The first half of the game was a mess of turnovers by both teams as the Wolves were playing four rookies among their seven total players, three guys who spent time in the D-;league this season, and one guy on a ten day contract who is on the team because he was close to New York last week. Utah looked supremely sloppy as well, with less excuse, though they were without Gordon Hayward as well.
The game looked like it would be a slog, a low scoring affair that the Wolves would ultimately lose, as they trailed through most of the game. But in the fourth, the offenses came alive as both teams went for 30+, and ultimately two ridiculous pull up threes by Zach LaVine got the game to overtime, where the key shot was a three by Chase Budinger which stretched the lead to five, and the Wolves were able to hold on from there.
Look, I'm gonna bullet point this fucker, cause I don't know what else to do:
- Seven available guys the night after playing with eight against the Hornets, on the road, at altitude, and they won the freaking game. A terrible start full of turnovers gave way to a shot making, gritty performance in the end. That was fun.
- That said, it's untenable. They need some bodies, or someone else is going to get hurt. Four Wolves played 44+ minutes tonight.
- Obviously a game like this...some unusual stuff is gonna happen. The Wolves won thanks to a season best effort from three--12 for 19, while the Jazz shot under 60% from the free throw line. Not things that will happen every day, but we'll take it.
- The Wolves almost lost this game on the boards. The Jazz grabbed 21 offensive rebounds--11 by Rudy Gobert, which is how many the Wolves got in total. Gobert is an absolute monster.
- I don't know where to start individually. How about here: when he's off the ball and not tasked with initiating the offense, Zach LaVine actually looks pretty good. Out there with Lorenzo Brown, he got some catch and shoot opportunities, as well as some chances to drive from better angles. When he has to run point, it's still pretty hopeless. LaVine, of course, made the two huge threes late to send it to overtime, which were hilarious.
- Lorenzo Brown can play back up point in the NBA. He was really good.
- Sean Freaking Kilpatrick. Having never scored an NBA point, all Kilpatrick did in the middle of the 4th quarter was make 4 straight shots, 3 of them from beyond the arc, to keep the Wolves in the game. I-95 indeed. By the last one, he was calling for it, and then drained it from 25 feet. A week out of the D-league.
- Andrew Wiggins. Finished with 22 and 7. Played 49 minutes. Showed some real guts I thought. Late in the first half, things were falling apart, and he took it upon himself to right the ship. Scored 8 straight to keep things moving. More to the point: by the end of the third quarter, the kid could barely move. A loose ball bounded by him a few feet away and he couldn't even go after it. But somehow he found the energy to score 8 huge points in the 4th quarter. It was a fantastic effort.
- Really, a fantastic effort by everybody. They had no business even competing tonight with the way things were stacked against them, but they showed some real heart in scrapping to stay in the game and eventually win. This one was satisfying.
- Those guys out there were not interested in tanking.
- Next up is the Lakers at home on Wednesday.