The last time I was at Target Center for the final game of the season was on April 11th, 2018 when the Wolves and Nuggets faced off to see who would end up as the 8 seed and secure the final playoff spot in the Western Conference playoffs.
This game, well, it didn’t have the same vibes as that game did - nor did I, or anyone else, expect it to.
That didn’t mean the game had bad vibes, by any means. The seats at Target Center were very full and the fans were engaged cheering for the likes of Jaylen Nowell, Jordan McLaughlin, Greg Monroe, and, as always, Anthony Edwards.
The Minnesota Timberwolves didn’t perform in the first quarter, ending the frame down 33-21 after allowing the Chicago Bulls to shoot 52.2% from the floor and only profiting on 34.8% of their own shot attempts. But, it didn’t really seem like anyone cared too much. Well, maybe Patrick Beverley cared as he still had plenty to say to the refs in typical Pat Bev fashion.
The second quarter didn’t start any better than the first ended. However, it did end fantastically better. Maybe not basketball-wise-, but the entertainment value was through the roof.
Patrick Beverley caused the ball to go off of a Bulls player and out of bounds, but the refs incorrectly gave possession to Chicago. So, Beverley gets in the referee’s ear and picks up a technical foul. In the midst of that, Beverley convinced Finch to challenge the play - down by 23 points, mind you - and quickly does win that challenge. Then, in the waning seconds of the quarter, Beverley scores a tough bucket and has some words for the ref after doing so, which led to his second technical of the night and an ejection from the game.
He wasn’t done talking after he was tossed. He had a couple key words he needed to get off his chest before heading out:
Pat Bev just got ejected and then told the ref he was trash pic.twitter.com/W9NU2Bvksj— PointsBet Sportsbook (@PointsBetUSA) April 11, 2022
The Wolves headed to halftime down by 23.
Throughout the third quarter, the Wolves’ reserves slowly tried to make a push back, before a burst in the last 3 and a half-ish minutes. In the frame, we saw Leandro Bolmaro, along with Jake Layman and Nathan Knight, take the court for the first time in the game. At one point, they trailed Chicago by 28, but by the end of the quarter they were down just 10. That final stretch was the most energy the Wolves had shown through the first three quarters of the game, but who could blame them for not showing up to a pointless exhibition.
As the 4th quarter started, the Wolves pushed back to being down by just 4 points, from there they traded punches with the Bulls for a while.
After a Jake Layman made triple with less than 2 minutes remaining, the Wolves pushed it back down to a 1 point game, the closest it had been for a LONG time.
But, in the end, it was not quite enough. The Bulls, backed by 45 minutes from Ayo Dosunmu, had just enough juice to beat the Wolves’ reserves in this one.
What looked like a terribly boring game for the entirety of the first half (other than the Beverley ejection) turned out to be a really fun game.
Nathan Knight had himself a party, Greg Monroe was fun to see again, Nowell had his usual hot streak, and even Jake Layman came to play tonight. Overall, the Wolves played everyone except for Towns, Russell, and Taurean Prince in this one, but no player played over 21 minutes, which is probably a good thing.
Well, that does it for the regular season at Target Center, but there is now some POSTSEASON Wolves basketball starting on Tuesday night.