T-Wolves Go Wire-to-Wire Over Wine & Gold

Road-Weary Cavaliers Fall Behind Early, Can't Catch Up in Minnesota
David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images

Wrap-Up -- We all know that look. The one where you’ve logged a lot of mileage after the holidays. The Cavaliers might be the reigning Eastern Conference champs, but on Monday night, they had that look.

Taking their worse defeat of the season, giving up 127 points in the second straight game and now having dropped six of seven on the road puts the well-traveled Wine & Gold in an official midseason funk – highlighted by Minnesota’s wire-to-wire 127-99 decision on Monday night at the Target Center.

The Cavaliers never led in this one – with the Cavaliers tying the game to open the scoring before falling behind, 20-4, by the 4:40 mark of the first quarter and not making much noise from there. Statistically speaking, Kyle Korver tallied more points in the fourth quarter than any of his teammates – including all five starters – finished with on the night.

Korver – the top fourth-quarter three-point marksman in the league – did have a fantastic fourth (if you’re looking for a silver lining, finishing with 14 points, going 4-of-5 from long-range, 5-of-7 from the floor. Korver finished with 19 points on 7-for-11 shooting, netting five triples on the night, adding five assists a pair of rebounds.

Jeff Green led the Cavaliers with 22 points – going 9-for-15 from the floor and 3-of-5 from deep – adding three boards and three assists.

Green and Korver got plenty of time to put up strong numbers – essentially splitting time with the starters, led by LeBron James, who barely extended his streak of double-digit scoring to 831 straight, finishing with 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting, adding eight boards, five assists and a pair of blocks in just over 26 minutes of play.

Cleveland’s other starters were a combined 6-for-30 from the floor, with Isaiah Thomas’ second start as a Cavalier ending in an ejection after picking up a Flagrant-2 against Andrew Wiggins. Thomas didn’t want to go out like that, but he was 3-of-11 from the field before hitting the showers anyway.

Wiggins did what he normally does against the team that drafted him – leading all scorers with 25 points on 9-for-19 shooting, Karl-Anthony Towns and Taj Gibson each tallied double-doubles and Jimmy Butler finished with 21 points as the Timberwolves snapped a six-game losing streak to the Wine & Gold.

Kyle Korver


Cavs bench scores 71 points but the Cavs fall on Monday in Minnesota.

The Timberwolves scored at least 30 points in each of the first three periods and grabbed 19 more boards than the Wine & Gold, who’ll need to get themselves together defensively with the highest scoring team in the Eastern Conference waiting north of the border on Thursday night.

Turning Point -- If nothing else, the turning point of Monday night’s blowout came early. The Cavaliers tied the game on Jae Crowder’s reverse layup with 10:45 remaining in the first quarter and that literally was as good as it would get for the Wine & Gold.

Cleveland trailed by as many as 17 in the opening quarter, by 21 in the second and by as many as 41 in the second half – taking one on the chin after beating the Timberwolves by an average of 17.7 points over the course of their six-game win streak.

But the Timberwolves – who haven’t qualified for the Playoffs since LeBron James’ rookie season – turned the tables on Cleveland on Monday night in Minnesota.

By the Numbers2,148 … three-pointers that Kyle Korver has now hit in his career, surpassing Paul Pierce for sole possession of 4th place on the NBA’s all-time list – trailing only Jason Terry (active - 2,244), Reggie Miller (2,560) and Ray Allen (2,970).

QuotableLeBron James, on Monday’s lopsided loss at the Target Center …

”We’re just not playing well right now.”

Up Next -- After a rough one on Monday night, the trip wraps up later this week – but it doesn’t get any easier. On Thursday night, they travel to the Air Canada Centre to take on a Raptors team that’s won 21 of their last 26 games before completing their five-game junket in Indiana on Friday, where they had their 13-game win streak in December. And to continue the theme, things definitely don’t get easier when they return home – welcoming the Warriors to The Q for a Martin Luther King Day matchup next Monday.

Calls of the Game

#CavsWolves Postgame: Kevin Love - January 8, 2018

Cavaliers center Kevin Love spoke with the media following Monday's loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center.

Cavs at Wolves - January 8, 2018

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#CavsWolves Postgame: Kevin Love - January 8, 2018

Cavaliers center Kevin Love spoke with the media following Monday's loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center.
Jan 8, 2018  |  02:56

#CavsWolves Postgame: Isaiah Thomas - January 8, 2018

Cavaliers guard Isaiah Thomas spoke with the media following Monday's loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center.
Jan 8, 2018  |  02:45

#CavsWolves Postgame: LeBron James - January 8, 2018

Cavaliers forward LeBron James spoke with the media following Monday's loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center.
Jan 8, 2018  |  02:06

#CavsWolves Postgame: Coach Lue - January 8, 2018

Cavaliers Head Coach Tyronn Lue spoke with the media following Monday's loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center.
Jan 8, 2018  |  03:51

GAME RECAP: Timberwolves 127, Cavaliers 99

Andrew Wiggins leads all scoring with 25 points as the Timberwolves get the win over the Pelicans, 107-99.
Jan 8, 2018  |  02:06

Cedi Osman with the Hoop and the Harm

Cedi Osman crosses up the defense and gets to the basket for the hoop and the harm.
Jan 8, 2018  |  00:21

Green Converts Through Contact

Jeff Green takes the ball strong to the bucket and gets the layup to fall, plus the foul.
Jan 8, 2018  |  00:14

Featured Highlight: LBJ with the Big Block

Tyus Jones thinks he has an easy layup but LeBron James comes up with his trademark chase down block.
Jan 8, 2018  |  00:26

DWade with the Reverse Finish

Dwyane Wade converts the difficult reverse layup in this Goodyear 'More Driven' highlight.
Jan 8, 2018  |  00:19

I.T. Drops Dime to DWade

Isaiah Thomas drops the nice dish to Dwyane Wade glides in for the layup.
Jan 8, 2018  |  00:16

Jeff Green with the Hoop and the Harm

Jeff Green draws the contact and finishes the bucket, plus the foul.
Jan 8, 2018  |  00:16

LBJ with the And-One

LeBron James goes coast-to-coast for the fancy finish, plus the foul.
Jan 8, 2018  |  00:17

#CavsWolves Shootaround: Kevin Love - January 8, 2018

Cavaliers center Kevin Love spoke with the media prior to Monday's shootaround at the Target Center.
Jan 8, 2018  |  05:27

#CavsWolves Shootaround: LeBron James - January 8, 2018

Cavaliers forward LeBron James spoke with the media prior to Monday's shootaround at the Target Center.
Jan 8, 2018  |  04:08

#CavsWolves Shootaround: Isaiah Thomas - January 8, 2018

Cavaliers guard Isaiah Thomas spoke with the media prior to Monday's shootaround at the Target Center.
Jan 8, 2018  |  03:30

#CavsWolves Shootaround: Coach Lue - January 8, 2018

Cavaliers Head Coach Tyronn Lue spoke with the media prior to Monday's shootaround at the Target Center.
Jan 8, 2018  |  02:18