Safe to say, the Timberwolves covered the five-point spread this evening in Oklahoma City en route to their third-straight win.
The Wolves avenged their lazy effort in the middle of Wednesday’s game that allowed the Thunder to crawl back from down 20, by doing the opposite tonight. A perfect Anthony Edwards and D’Angelo Russell first quarter plunged the team into a 41-point second quarter, and the rest was history. The Wolves never scored below 30 a quarter tonight.
Karl-Anthony Towns poster dunk pic.twitter.com/6P8xVn19gO— Timberwolves Clips (@WolvesClips) January 8, 2022
It felt like retribution for fans - what was expected to happen on Wednesday, happened tonight. The Wolves never stopped going to the basket, and stepped on OKC when they had the chance. Plus we got to see Nathan Knight again, so that was fun (even though he finished -11).
The Big Three™ Stepped Up.
D’Angelo Russell also came back to earth. After a poor outing Wednesday, he poured in 27 tonight on 11-of-12 shooting. It’s hard to get that score on a spelling test, let alone shoot it from the field. Oh, he also had 12 assists.
“Definitely the best of shot in a game,” Russell said afterward. “I didn’t feel like I was hot, I was just patient.”
D’Angelo Russell has now recorded a double-double in three of his last four games.— Canis Hoopus (@canishoopus) January 8, 2022
It took a game to get his rhythm back after COVID protocols, but dude has been COOKING lately.
What started as the Ant and D-Lo show turned into the KAT show in the second half. Towns scored 10 of his 22 points in the third quarter, which put the game out of reach.
A stark, but welcomed contrast to Wednesday’s near-disappointment at Target Center, in which the Thunder made a 21-point deficit disappear and tie the game late.
With a combination of Edwards, Towns, and KAT all gelling on the offensive end, no such dice tonight. Oh, and the Thunder helped out a little bit as well.
Oklahoma City tied its season-high with 20 turnovers tonight. While part of that is due to the continued active hands of the Wolves defense, it wasn’t all of it.
“They were just giving us the ball,” said Anthony Edwards with after the game. “Just giving it to us.”
Jarred Vanderbilt: Good Player.
Vanderbilt was huge on the glass. Four of his 10 rebounds were offensive, and he was great getting to the basket. He led the team in plus/minus, and brought energy when OKC was clawing at momentum in the second half.
D’Angelo Russell PnR pocket-pass to Jarred Vanderbilt pic.twitter.com/KsTNeW4HOL— Timberwolves Clips (@WolvesClips) January 8, 2022
Vanderbilt and Naz Reid would be especially helpful tonight playing alongside Malik Beasley. Beasley continues to go through a slump with his shooting stroke. He was 2-7 from the field and 1-5 from three. It’s a classic shooting slump, but one he’ll have to work out of it the hard way. It was easier to stomach tonight with the margin of victory, but in a closer game against a better team in which margin for error is thinner, it’s tough to say right now that Beasley should be garnering double the time of Jaylen Nowell.
Something to monitor on Sunday.
The Wolves will have a realistic stab at four-straight on Sunday when they travel over to Houston for a 6:00 game. Jalen Green has started to step up, so it should make for and interesting clash between he and a red-hot Anthony Edwards.