Postgame recap: Timberwolves 116, Pelicans 98

by Jim Eichenhofer
@Jim_Eichenhofer

BOXSCORE || PHOTOS || QUOTES || VIDEOS

Timberwolves (25-16), Pelicans (19-19)

MINNEAPOLIS – For a third time over the past two months of the regular season, Minnesota posted a victory over New Orleans. Saturday’s matchup was by far the least competitive of the three. The Timberwolves raced to a big first-half lead, going up by 21 at intermission, then extended it to 30-plus midway through the third quarter. The Western Conference’s current fourth-place team nearly reached the century mark entering the final 12 minutes, building a 98-71 lead in a dominant performance.

In November, the Timberwolves prevailed in the Crescent City by margins of six and 18 points.

IT WAS OVER WHEN…

Minnesota established itself as the more aggressive team from the outset, grabbing more loose balls and outhustling New Orleans at both ends of the floor. The Wolves’ 28-18 edge in rebounding during the first half was one of many statistics that reflected the home team’s edge in determination, despite Minnesota playing the second game of a back-to-back.

PELICANS PLAYER OF THE GAME

In 39 minutes of work, DeMarcus Cousins posted 23 points, 15 rebounds and five assists. He also shot 6/11 from the field, the rare Pelicans player who turned in an efficient night offensively.

QUOTES TO NOTE

“We weren’t ready to play. That’s my fault. I’ve got to get everybody ready to play. (Minnesota) beat us in all phases of the game. Quicker, better defensively, they were into the ball (defensively), they got the 50-50 balls.” – Alvin Gentry summing up the defeat and crediting the Timberwolves for outplaying the Pelicans

“They were focused and played with a lot of intensity. We just didn’t match their intensity in the first half. We got behind, and it was tough to fight back.” – Pelicans reserve forward Darius Miller on Minnesota going up 69-48 at halftime 

BY THE NUMBERS

15: New Orleans turnovers, compared to just nine for Minnesota. The Timberwolves only had five in the first three quarters, illustrated their sharpness.

47-38: Minnesota rebounding advantage, including 13 offensive boards. The hosts swarmed their own misses, sometimes getting more than two shots on the same possession.

9/18: Minnesota three-point shooting, another area of dominance. New Orleans was coming off a 14/30 night on treys at Utah, but Saturday shot only 6/29.

GAME RECAP: Timberwolves 116, Pelicans 98

All five Minnesota starters score in double figures as the Timberwolves defeat the New Orleans Pelicans, 116-98.

Game 38: Pelicans at Timberwolves 1/6/18

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GAME RECAP: Timberwolves 116, Pelicans 98

All five Minnesota starters score in double figures as the Timberwolves defeat the New Orleans Pelicans, 116-98.
Jan 6, 2018  |  01:38

Pelicans vs. Timberwolves Postgame: Alvin Gentry 1-6-18

Head Coach Alvin Gentry speaks to the media following Saturday's game.
Jan 7, 2018  |  02:01

Pelicans vs. Timberwolves Postgame: Darius Miller 1-6-18

Darius Miller talks about tonight's game in Minnesota.
Jan 7, 2018  |  00:54

Jrue Holiday finishes in traffic

Jrue Holiday takes in from the top and finishes with three defenders
Jan 6, 2018  |  00:08

Easy ball movement results in easy bucket

The Pelicans share the ball to find the open man and score two
Jan 6, 2018  |  00:09

Ian Clark and Darius Miller heat up

Ian Clark and Darius Miller get hot for the Pelicans after hitting a 3 a piece
Jan 6, 2018  |  00:08

Davis with the sneak attack jam

Anthony Davis goes behind the back of his defender and catches the lob from DeMarcus Cousins for the slam
Jan 6, 2018  |  00:09

Holiday dishes to Rondo for 2

Jrue Holiday dishes it to Rajon Rondo who scoops it in for 2
Jan 6, 2018  |  00:09