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Wiggins Drops 41 In Loss To Cavs
Web Editorial Associate
When the Cleveland Cavaliers stretched their third-quarter lead to 14 midway through the third quarter, the defending NBA Champions looked to be on their way to cruising past the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night.
But the Wolves, led by Andrew Wiggins, clawed their way back, going on a late third-quarter run to tie the game at 93-93 heading into the final quarter.
Cleveland went on to outscore Minnesota 23-15 in the fourth quarter to come away with the 116-108 win at Target Center.
“The ebb and flow of the game. This was a good test for us," Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau said. "To beat a good team, I thought the game we played in Cleveland, we played a good half. Tonight I thought we played good for three quarters, but to beat this team, you’ve got to play all four quarters.”
Wiggins had a monster game for the Wolves, finishing with 41 points, three rebounds and two assists. The third-year wing scored 19 of his 41 points in the third quarter.
Along with Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns tallied 26 points, eight rebounds and four assists, Gorgui Dieng had 12 points and 10 rebounds, Shabazz Muhammad had seven points, and Ricky Rubio finished with five points, 16 assists and eight rebounds.
LeBron James led the way for the Cavs, finishing with 25 points, 14 assists and eight rebounds. Kyrie Irving had 25 points and seven assists, Channing Frye had 21 points and 10 rebounds, Tristan Thompson had 14 points and 11 rebounds, and former Wolves forward Derrick Williams had 13 points and six rebounds.
“They have a two-headed monster over there now," Irving said. "Wishing Zach (LaVine) a speedy recovery, but those two guys over there, they are relying a lot on them offensively and defensively. Thibs is doing a great job of putting them in a position to be successful. There are a lot of isolations for Andrew, a lot of isolations for KAT and they are taking full advantage of it.”
Minnesota falls to 21-35 overall, while Cleveland improves to 38-16 on the season.
Highlight Of The Game
With 8:32 left in the opening quarter, Towns drove the lane and finished with a monster right-handed slam to put the Wolves up 11-6.
The Numbers Game
- Minnesota shot 48.8 percent from the field in the game, while Cleveland shot 51.2 percent.
- The Cavs had 13 second chance points to the Wolves’ six.
- Minnesota shot 15-of-19 (78.9 percent) from the free throw line. Cleveland finished 15-for-22 (68.2 percent).
Player Of The Game
Tuesday night’s Wolves Player of the Game is Andrew Wiggins.
With his 41 points, Wiggins passed Isaiah Rider (4,315) for eight on the Wolves’ all-time points list. He also recorded 40-plus points for the third time this season.
Wiggins finished shooting 16-for-29 from the field, 4-for-8 from three and went 5-for-6 from the free throw line.
“He took over for part of the game and he’s capable of doing that," Rubio said. "He really is a great player and we need more of that. I know it’s hard to ask, but he’s capable of it.”
The Wolves hit the road to take on the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night in the second game of a back-to-back. The game, which is the final game before the All-Star break, is set to tipoff at 8 p.m. and will be aired on Fox Sports North and 830 WCCO.