Wolves Fall To D-League Selects, 83-75

Wolves Fall To D-League Selects, 83-75

Mark Remme
Wolves Editor/Writer

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Wednesday’s win against the Kings was an extreme, even for a Timberwolves Summer League team that has shot well from the field all week long. Scoring 92 points on 54 percent shooting and connecting on 11-of-20 shots from distance was head-scratching production in this Summer League.

Call it law of averages, but the Wolves backed it up with statistically their toughest outing in Vegas on Thursday.

Minnesota dropped an 83-75 decision to the D-League Selects at Thomas & Mack Center, ending their chances of winning the first ever Summer League championship tournament. The Wolves will not move out of the championship bracket and will play one final game against the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday at 9:30 p.m. CT. It will be their fifth straight day with a game in Vegas.

The Wolves shot just 33.8 percent from the field on Thursday. Whether it was percentages averaging out, tired legs or tough, physical defense from the D-League Selects, Minnesota shot well below the 51 percent as a team they connected on through their first four games.

“We had a bad first half, tired legs a little bit,” coach David Adelman said. “But I thought the second half we played good defense, we had opportunities, but guys just didn’t make shots they’ve been making, and that team’s playing good. They’re really playing physical. They took advantage of our mistakes.”

Minnesota fell behind by as many as 14 in the third quarter at 58-44, but at the point of their biggest deficit they put together their best stretch of basketball. The Wolves went on a 13-3 run to end the quarter and got as close as 60-57 before the D-League grabbed momentum back to begin the fourth. After that, the NBADL put together a 7-1 run to extend the lead back.

Minnesota took care of the ball compared to the first time these teams played—they had 15 turnovers compared to 24 in their first matchup—but this time it was rebounding and fouls. The D-League held a 47-38 advantage on the boards, had a 34-22 points in the paint edge and got to the line 38 times.

Now, the Wolves need to bounce back and play one final game on five straight days of competition. Adelman said he doesn’t expect this group to have an issue being prepared to play.

“They’ll bounce back,” Adelman said. “I mean, there was positive energy in there. They’re disappointed, but guys are excited to play together one last time. Everyone will get an opportunity tomorrow. This is a business trip for everybody, so they’ve got to keep getting better.”

Leader of the Pack

John Holland tied for the team’s top scorer with Othyus Jeffers tonight, scoring 11 points on 3-of-6 shooting—all from beyond the arc. He was a big reason why the Wolves made their 13-3 run to end the third quarter, hitting a pair of back-to-back 3-pointers at the 3:43 and 3:21 mark that cut Minnesota’s deficit to 10. He also brought down four boards, including two on the offensive end.

Highlight of the Game

At the 2:52 mark of the first quarter with the Wolves down 14-11, Othyus Jeffers took a pass from Chris Johnson and threw down an impressive dunk that cut the D-League’s lead to one. Jeffers had a nice game offensively, tied for the team-high with 11 points while hitting 5-of-7 shots from the free throw line.

The Numbers Game

  • The Wolves came into tonight’s game having shot 51 percent from the field as a team over the first four games in Las Vegas. Tonight, the Wolves shot 33.8 percent from the field on 24-of-71 shooting. They also shot 8-of-30 from 3-point range after scoring from distance over their first four games.

  • Minnesota got off to a slow start and never quite recovered, but they did have a shot late in the third quarter when they put together a 13-3 run late and cut the D-League Selects’ lead to four at 61-57.

  • Stefhon Hannah had 23 points against the Wolves on Saturday, and while he didn’t stand out this time around like he did in that second half, he was still able to grab 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting. He shot 12-of-19 against the Wolves this week.

  • The Wolves had 11 of their 13 player score on Thursday night.

  • The D-League Selects had the lead nearly the entire game. The Wolves had a 4-1 lead early in the first quarter, but the NBADL went on an 8-0 run to take a 9-4 lead and never looked back.

  • Quote of the Night

    “They have men, I mean they did a good job. They hit the glass. But again, sometimes it comes down to making shots. We didn’t make any tonight.” — Wolves coach David Adelman

    Next Up

    The Wolves will play their final game of the 2013 Summer League on Friday night at 9:30 p.m. CT against the Portland Trail Blazers. This will be the fifth straight night the Wolves have played and sixth in seven nights. Minnesota is currently 2-3 for the Summer League season, and with Thursday’s loss they are officially eliminated from league championship contention. The game will be on tape delay, and that information will be released shortly.

    For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Timberwolves and Mark Remme on Twitter.