Breaking Down Minnesota's 98-95 Loss To Milwaukee
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Minnesota has been outscored a combined 57-40 in the second quarters of its first two games, and it's cost them. The Wolves found themselves down at halftime in both games and trailed 75-55 against Milwaukee with 6:50 remaining in the third quarter on Tuesday. Despite a furious comeback attempt—which included trailing 94-92 with 1:41 remaining—Minnesota dug itself too deep a hole to recover.
"I told the guys if we had played with that energy and focus in the first half like we did in the second half we would have had a much better chance to win the game," acting head coach Terry Porter said. "But we didn't. The resilience of this team is great, they fought back in it. It gave us a chance to tie the game and get a good shot."
The Wolves have stressed taking care of the basketball during training camp, but that stop Milwaukee from nabbing 25 turnovers in Tuesday's game. This coming one night after Minnesota protected the basketball against Oklahoma City, turning the ball over 12 times.
"It was our first back-to-back, we have no excuse to be tired," forward Kevin Love said. "We have fresh legs; it was only our second game. We were just making mistakes out there."
Wolves forward Michael Beasley got into foul trouble early and sat much of the first half. When he returned, he was efficient from the floor and helped Minnesota in its come back. Beasley finished with 15 points on 6-of-13 shooting, snatched seven rebounds and hit the jumper with 1:41 remaining to bring the Wolves to within two at 94-92.
Milwaukee rookie Jon Leuer proved he will be a difference maker for the Bucks this season. The Orono native and University of Wisconsin product finished with 14 points on the night after logging just one minute of action in his pro debut against Charlotte. He iced the game by scoring and drawing a foul with 1:07 remaining, pushing the Bucks' lead to 97-92.
Living at the line:
Love far and away led the Timberwolves in points and rebounds, finishing with 31 and 20, respectively. He racked up his points from the free-throw line, going 19-for-24 thanks to drawing fouls both in the lane and on 3-point attempts. His 24 free-throw attempts set a franchise record for most in a game, and he alone had two fewer free-throw attempts on Tuesday than the Wolves entire team had against the Thunder on Monday night.
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