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Wolves 135, Wizards 130: None of it Matters

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The Wolves win a rousing game in overtime, but it pales due to an injury to Karl-Anthony Towns.

NBA: Washington Wizards at Minnesota Timberwolves Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

This game followed a familiar recent pattern for the Wolves: A dominant Karl-Anthony Towns and generally poor defense. Some late game shenanigans led to overtime, where the Wolves managed to win behind Derrick Rose and Taj Gibson, 135-130.

And none of it matters. With seconds left in regulation, KAT pushed off his right leg at mid-court, and came up limping. Later on the bench, he appeared to say “It just popped,” which is not a a good sign. He did not return to the game, and we await news on this injury.

The obvious fear is a torn ACL, which is usually accompanied by a popping sensation, and would of course be terrible news for the team and KAT, who has been incredibly durable to this point in his career. Hopefully it’s something less serious, because an ACL tear would keep him out into next season, and probably effect him through the entire year.

As we await word, some words on this game I guess...

It was a terrible first half defensively for the Wolves, who gave up 71 to the Wizards who were getting out in transition and getting buckets with little resistance. The Jeff Teague-Derrick Rose back court in particular was terrible rotating back leading to basket after basket for a Wizards team that was on the second night of a back to back but looked the more energetic squad.

The Wolves were led by KAT, who had 26 and nine in the first half. The Wizards had no chance of stopping him, even as they threw double-teams at him in the post. He split them with relative ease, and had his three point stroke going as well. Unfortunately, nobody else really had much going offensively. Andrew Wiggins was out tonight with a thigh bruise, so the starting wings were the rookie pairing of Keita Bates-Diop and Josh Okogie, neither of whom was helping offensively in the first half.

Jeff Teague was the real villain, however, as he was scoreless in the first, and looked completely out of sorts on both ends. He had nobody to guard, as the Wizards had the 6’7” Tomas Satoransky at point, and Teague could not handle it at either end of the floor.

The second half started much brighter, as KBD found his game. He’s been a nice addition to the rotation in the absence of just about all the other wings on the roster. He finished with 12 points, five boards and a couple of assists, and did some good defensive work.

KAT continued to dominate and would finish with 40 and 16, but it was really the Derrick Rose show in the second half and overtime. He had 20 after the break on his usual assortment of mid range jumpers and rim attacks, including several huge shots late. He finished with 29 on 13-23 from the field. His final make was a dagger that put the Wolves up four with 20 seconds left in overtime. In the absence of KAT for the extra period, it was Rose who carried the scoring burden for the Wolves.

The Wizards got big games from Bradley Beal (36) and Trevor Ariza (27 with 7 threes) and made 16 threes. They led by as many as 15 in the game, and it looked like they would win their second game against the Wolves in a week, but ultimately failed to control the boards (19 offensive rebounds for the Wolves) and turned it over 18 times, which meant the Wolves got 15 more shot attempts, which was the difference in the game.

Lets Notes:

  • Cam Reynolds got some extended run tonight and looked useful. Scored five points in 20 minutes, but looked like he belonged out there. Had some nice defensive plays, and was in there for some key second half minutes. Good for him.
  • Nice game for Taj Gibson, who was murder on the Wizards in the paint. Had 15 and 13 (six offensive rebounds.)

LATE UPDATE:

Cross your fingers.