Wolves Look To Build Run After Big Win In Philly
Web Editorial Assistant
Coach Rick Adelman said after last night’s 105-88 win in Philadelphia that the quickest way to put together stretches of wins in the NBA is to be successful on the road.
Last night, the Wolves got the job done thanks to a boost in 3-point efficiency, continuous production off the bench and limiting the 76ers when they made their runs in the second half. Minnesota looks to build on that tonight in Boston during the second of back-to-back road contests.
If they’re able to do so, the Wolves will snap a 10-game losing streak to the Celtics—including six straight in Boston.
The first step is following the blue print they set for themselves in Philly.
“I think there were two things we did: We were consistent defensively, and we moved the ball,” Adelman said. “But when we move the ball, good things happen, and it’s always nice when we’re making shots, too.”
The Wolves were poised for every Philadelphia run during the second half. Each time the Sixers made a move, cutting their deficit to 14, Minnesota countered with one of their own to push the lead back to 20.
A lot of that had to do with the team’s all-around effort. Seven Wolves hit double-digit figures, collectively shooting 53.2 percent from the field. Minnesota’s reserves outscored the Sixers’ bench 57-23 on the night.
Alexey Shved had the hot hand and shot 38.9 percent from the floor and went 4-for-7 from 3-point range. For the second straight game, he had four 3-pointers—both his career best.
Josh Howard hit his first double-double since 2009, J.J. Barea had his first of the season, and Alexey Shved, Luke Ridnour, Derrick Williams, Malcolm Lee and Dante Cunningham also picked up double-digit field goals.
Perhaps what's most impressive is that Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic were not part of the seven players in double figures. The Wolves found a way to score across the board last night, allowing Love to get some rest. He played a season-low 26 minutes, scoring six points and adding 10 rebounds, after averaging 35.7 minutes per game heading into the contest.
Pekovic got similar rest. After playing 36 minutes in two of his last three games, Pekovic played 27 minutes on the night and finished with six points and five rebounds.
“Guys were hitting shots and things were clicking offensively,” Wolves guard Luke Ridnour said. “Defensively, we were being stingy and not giving up easy baskets. It was everybody. Everybody played and did a good job tonight.”
- Last night’s 105-88 win at Philadelphia improved the Wolves to 8-8 and moved them up to the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference. The 8-8 record is the team’s best record through 16 games since 2005-06 (10-6).
- After last night’s 88-pt defensive effort vs. Philadelphia, the Wolves are allowing just 92.3 points per game, a 7.8 point per game improvement from last season (100.1 ppg), which moved them past Brooklyn (6.5) for the best scoring defense improvement in the NBA.
- The 88-point defensive effort vs. Philadelphia was the team's eighth time limiting an opponent to under 90 points. The Wolves only had 10 such games a year ago and a combined nine over the 2010-11 and 2009-10 seasons.
- Heading into tonight, the Wolves rank 6th in the NBA in defensive FG percentage (43.1%), 4th in scoring defense (92.3 ppg) and 7th in blocked shots (6.44 ). A year ago the Wolves ranked 25th in scoring defense (100.1 ppg), 25th in opponent field goal percentage (45.5%) and T-24th in blocked shots per game (4.44).
- The Wolves backcourt shooting over the last four games (3-1): Malcolm Lee 12-of-17 (70.6%), Luke Ridnour 23-of-43 (53.5%) & Shved 18-of-37 (48.6%); overall 53-of-97 (54.6%).
- In scoring 105 points last night, the Wolves snapped a streak of 12 straight games scoring less than 100, 3rd longest streak in franchise history.