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About Last Night | Wolves Light Up Thunder
Life is good if you’re a Minnesota Timberwolves fan. Going into Wednesday, the team was coming off of wins over the Pelicans and the defending Eastern Conference champion, Cleveland Cavaliers.
On Wednesday, the Wolves had the test of Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony and Paul George.
They passed with flying colors, taking down the Thunder 104-88 in front of a sold-out Target Center, the sixth-straight sellout.
Here are three takeaways from the game:
Closer To Third Than Fourth
The win, Minnesota’s third straight, moved the team to 27-16 overall. The thought for the majority of the season was that the Wolves would bounce between the fourth and fifth seed. Not so fast. The win moved the Wolves just 1.5 games back of the Spurs, who will be without Kawhi Leonard for a little while longer with a shoulder tear.
The Wolves are up four games on Portland for the No. 4 seed.
We know things can change drastically in the NBA, but the Wolves are playing their best basketball right now having won seven of their last 10 and 10 of their last 13.
Over the last ten games, the Minnesota Timberwolves have the second-best offense, the third-best defense and the best net rating in the NBA.
Looks like it's finally working.
— Duncan Smith (@DuncanSmithNBA) January 11, 2018
Minnesota’s Big 3 > OKC’s Big 3
The Wolves trio of Jimmy Butler, Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns combined for:
22-for-40 FG (62.5%), 63 points, 22 rebounds, 13 assists, five steals, 2 blocks
The Thunder trio of Westbrook, Anthony and George combined for:
25-for-56 FG (44.5%), 66 points, 25 rebounds, 9 assists, 4 steals, 1 block
Yes, more points and more rebounds, but the Wolves were much more efficient, and created four more baskets, which is the equivalent of more than three points.
You can talk about how the Wolves took down the Thunder’s Big 3, but soon, we need to start giving more credit to Minnesota’s Big 3.
Another Near Triple-Double For Butler
Butler finished with 26 points, eight assists, seven rebounds, four steals and two blocks while shooting 7-for-13 from the field, 1-for-2 from the 3-point line and 11-for-12 from the free-throw line.
In the last three games, Butler is averaging 22.7 points, 8.3 assists, 7.3 rebounds and 2.7 steals while shooting 51.2 percent from the field, 70 percent from the 3-point line and 86.4 percent from the free-throw line.
If he’s not an All-Star in a month from now, we should probably cancel the All-Star Game.