CSKA Moscow Outlasts Wolves 108-106 In OT
CSKA Moscow Outlasts Wolves 108-106 In OT
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The Minnesota Timberwolves knew that CSKA Moscow wasn’t going to treat Monday night’s preseason game as an exhibition. CSKA was at the Target Center to prove they belonged, and for one night at least, they did just that.
Minnesota’s starters didn’t show a lot of urgency early on, but the reserves sure did turn up the heat, fighting back after being down as much as 18 points to taking a four point lead with 1:17 remaining in the game.
Wolves vs. CSKA
"It's a good team we played. They executed their stuff and we didn't defend the ball well enough and we were very impatient offensively," said Timberwolves head coach Rick Adelman.
The game for the Wolves was a mixture of seeing what they had with their starting five, along with giving young players a chance to show off their skills. Some players got some extra minutes with both J.J. Barea (personal) and Dante Cunningham (flu) out for the Wolves.
Adelman wasn't impressed with his starting five early on and went to his bench for the majority of the second half.
"The young guys and the new guys who finished the fourth quarter and overtime," Adelman said. "They got beat and everything but the other team executed pretty well, our starters didn't come ready to play at all tonight."
Minnesota came out of the gates cold, shooting just 27.3 percent after the first quarter compared to CSKA’s 52.6 percent. That led to a 25-17 lead for CSKA.
It didn’t look like the Wolves were going to end the half much better either, but thanks to a big run, things changed quickly. With 2:50 left before the break, the Wolves went on a 12-2 run led by a 3-point play from Kevin Love and a corner 3-pointer from Corey Brewer, something Wolves fans are hoping to see a lot of this season. That put the Wolves down 53-50 at half.
But when the starting group went back on the floor in the second half, it couldn't find its groove and trailed again 72-63 with 3:20 left in the third.
It was an unlikely crew that brought Minnesota back in the game. A.J. Price, Othyus Jeffers, Alexey Shved, Derrick Williams and Ronny Turiaf gave the Wolves the boost they needed and wound up taking a 92-88 lead with 1:17 left.
"I think we just played together a little bit more than the first unit," Price said. "We were passing the ball. Our spacing was better, that was the most important thing. Our spacing and when you have spacing it enables athletes to make plays. Williams, Shved, moving in space. I think that was the difference."
The game ended up going into overtime and the Wolves just weren't able to close out CSKA.
Guard Milos Teodosic led CSKA with 26 points, nine assists and five rebounds off the bench. Seven other players for CSKA finished in double digits as well.
Williams led the Wolves with 21 points to go along with nine rebounds, but did miss three out of four free throws in the final 1:11. Kevin Martin finished with 16 points, but shot 5-of-15 from the field. Price was very effective off the bench, shooting 5-of-7 from the field while scoring 14 points. Ricky Rubio added 10, while both Love and Brewer finished with nine each.
Shved, who played for CSKA previous to joining the Wolves, scored six points while dishing out four assists.
Lorenzo Brown, Gorgui Dieng and Chris Johnson did not play.
Leader of the Pack: Derrick Williams
Williams kept the Wolves alive in the second half. Of his 21 points, 16 came in the final 29 minutes. His nine rebounds tied Sasha Kaun to lead the game. He also had two blocked shots in the contest.
Highlight of the Game
Adelman said in order for this offense to be successful, he needs players to be active without the ball. Well, Martin isn’t new to Adelman’s system and he made a cut that made his coach proud in the third quarter. The pass wasn’t too shabby either.
Martin started up top, dished it to Love who immediately went behind the back to Martin for a wide-open layup. It's only preseason basketball, but still, it reminded fans that the NBA regular season is close.
The Numbers Game
The Wolves had 17 second chance points compared to CSKA's four.
There were 10 lead changes in the game and 10 ties.
Minnesota's bench accounted for all of the team's blocked shots. Shved, Williams and Turiaf each had two.
"They were a very patient team, a veteran team, they played together. I think they did a good job of just staying composed the whole game. They were in control; they never got outside of themselves." — Wolves guard A.J. Price on why it was tough to close out CSKA Moscow.
The Wolves will travel to play the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday at 6 p.m. CST. The game will not be on TV or radio. Minnesota matches up with the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday at the Pentagon in Sioux Falls, SD at 7 p.m. The game will be aired on Fox Sports North Plus.
For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Timberwolves and Mark Remme on Twitter, and join the conversation at WolvesNation.com