T-Wolves Hold Off Wine and Gold
Wrap-Up – After taking some big steps forward over the past couple weeks, the Wine and Gold took one back on Monday night – falling to the struggling Timberwolves, 100-92, on Monday night at The Q.
The Cavaliers’ trend of saving their best for the fourth quarter also didn’t materialize in Monday’s loss, as they allowed Minnesota to shoot 75 percent from the floor in the fourth quarter – 64 percent in the second half. Luke Ridnour led the T-Wolves’ late charge, netting 13 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter. Cleveland’s second unit tried working their magic in the final period – notching 18 points in the fourth as they cut Minnesota’s nine-point edge to just three, 92-89, in the final two minutes. But Ridnour’s three doubled their lead and his two free throws at the end of regulation iced the win.
Kyrie Irving led the Cavs with 20 points and seven assists, going 9-for-20 from the floor. Tristan Thompson followed up with 16 points and nine boards and Dion Waiters notched a dozen points, going a perfect 6-of-6 from the field. Alonzo Gee chipped in with 11 points and Marreese Speights and Wayne Ellington added 10 points apiece off the bench.
Turning Point – Although not overly sharp, the Wine and Gold were in control of the ballgame in the first stanza, extending their lead to eight with just over four minutes remaining in the first half. But the T-Wolves ran off 14 straight points to take a six-point lead late in the second quarter. Cleveland led just once more in the ballgame – taking a brief one-point lead on Kyrie’s layup late in the third.
Game Ball – Second Unit Nobody was at their best on Monday night. Even Dion Waiters’ 6-for-6 shooting performance was marred by six turnovers. But Byron Scott’s reserves were productive again. Speights scored in double-figures for the eighth time in his nine games with Cleveland and Ellington did so for the fifth time in his last six outings. The second unit handed out 13 of the Cavs’ 24 assists and committed just six of the team’s 20 turnovers.
By the Numbers – 34 … points that the Cavaliers scored off of 22 Minnesota turnovers – the 10th time this season that the Wine and Gold have forced a team into 20 or more miscues.
Quotable – Tristan Thompson, on Monday’s disappointing loss to the Timberwolves …
“There was a lack of communication and the first unit just didn’t have it tonight. I think our second unit played phenomenal for us. They played hard for us and kept us in the game, but the first unit was a letdown for us. We should be disappointed and we have Wednesday to make up for it.”
Up Next – The Cavaliers close out the unofficial first half of the 2012-13 season on Wednesday night when they welcome the Spurs to The Q. Their first game after the midseason classic is against New Orleans on February 20.