Wolves Fall Short Against Clippers
Clippers 98 (21-35) - Timberwolves 90 (13-43) | Target Center
How it happened:
The Minnesota Timberwolves failed to find their stroke from all areas of the floor tonight, shooting only 35.4 percent, which subsequently led to a 98-90 defeat suffered to Blake Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers.
Those who flocked to the Target Center to witness “The Blake Show” received a glimpse of what Griffin is capable of pulling off in Saturday night’s Sprite Slam Dunk contest. The rookie phenom continued to wow the nation by throwing down multiple emphatic, jaw-dropping slams.
Heading into the second half, the contest was rather even with the Clippers holding a narrow 43-42 lead. The Clippers then proceeded to catch fire midway through the third quarter by going 10-of-11 from the floor during a 17-4 run led by Griffin. While Darko Milicic did his best to keep the All-Star forward out of the paint, Griffin did not hesitate to knock down the outside jumper by mirroring Tim Duncan’s patent beautiful bank shot high off the glass. Griffin scored 11 of his game-high 29 points in the game-changing third quarter.
The backcourt Los Angeles duo of Baron Davis and Eric Bledsoe led the fast-paced Clippers attack by pushing the ball whenever possible. Los Angeles killed Minnesota in transition, scoring 21 fast-break points to Minnesota’s 7.
After Martell Webster hit two free-throws late in the fourth quarter, the Timberwolves were able to trim the lead to just six points with 1:30 remaining. The Wolves received chants of “DEFENSE” from a dwindled crowd, but Ryan Gomes drilled a three-pointer from the corner to silence any chants of hope by putting the dagger into Minnesota.
With 18 points and 18 rebounds, Kevin Love continues his unbelievable streak of 42 consecutive double-doubles. By grabbing 10 of his boards in the first quarter alone, Love initially showed an output of high energy and effort that was contagious early for the Wolves.
Wesley Johnson began the game on the bench and didn’t see action until the second quarter. The rookie has seen his minutes gradually diminish over the past few games, receiving only nine minutes tonight. Johnson did not score, finishing 0-of-2 from the floor.
Highlight to Remember:
Late in the third quarter with the shot clock running down, Sebastian Telfair penetrated from the top of the key into the middle of the paint and executed a nifty spin and dish to Wayne Ellington in the corner for a three-pointer. Ellington’s three narrowed the Clippers’ lead to 70-62, giving the Wolves necessary momentum heading into the final quarter. Although Telfair only recorded two points, the flashy guard seems to jumpstart the Wolves offense with his up-tempo style whenever he steps on the floor. The Coney Island native knows exactly how to be a playmaker, which he displayed on several occasions tonight, dishing out four dimes.
With All-Star week approaching, the Wolves will have time off to recuperate before traveling to face the Milwaukee Bucks next Tuesday.
Make sure to follow Timberwolves All-Star Coverage to receive exclusive updates surrounding Wesley Johnson and Kevin Love as they represent the Minnesota Timberwolves over All-Star weekend.
For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Timberwolves and Jonah on Twitter.