The Minnesota Timberwolves didn’t let a tough loss from Wednesday against the New York Knicks linger around very long. In fact, it left their mind less than 48 hours after they defeated the Detroit Pistons 114-101 at Target Center on Friday night.
Coach Rick Adelman said before the game that when his team is most successful, it gets off to hot starts. Friday was a prime example of that. Minnesota went on a 16-4 run early, and opened with a 29-11 lead with 3:11 remaining in the first quarter.
Wolves vs. Pistons
“We came out with energy, we learned from the other night after coming out from the great road trip and just set the tone,” Wolves guard Kevin Martin said.
The Wolves went on to lead 39-21 at halftime and it was a combination of sloppy play from the Pistons, and solid offense from the Wolves. Minnesota shot 56 percent in the first quarter and had nine fast break points.
The half closed with a 66-45 Minnesota lead, with the Kevins leading the way with 14 points each. Love also seven rebounds. The Wolves shot 50 percent from the field compared to Detroit’s mark of 41 percent. Brandon Jennings with 15 points at the break.
Minnesota outscored Detroit 31-24 in the third, but things got a little closer in the fourth when the Pistons outscored the Wolves 32-17, but the Wolves still had a 13-point cushion.
A big reason why the Wolves won was because of their ability to shut down Detroit center Andre Drummond. Drummond finished with just six points and seven rebounds, shooting 3-of-7 from the field.
“We kept him off the boards really well the whole night,” Adelman said. “Kevin and Pek did a good job of communicating, talking, really followed the game plan the way we wanted to do it.”
Love led the Wolves with a game-high 28 points to go with 14 rebounds and five assists. Martin was very aggressive and set the tone early on. He finished with 24 points, shooting 9-of-16 from the field. Ricky Rubio had a very nice all-around and just missed out on a triple-double, finishing with 11 points, nine assists and eight rebounds. Nikola Pekovic scored 17 points in almost 29 minutes of play.
Greg Monroe led the Pistons with 20 points and 15 boards. Brandon Jennings and Will Bynum scored 13 each, while Josh Smith added 13.
With the win, Minnesota moves to 31-30 overall, matching last season’s win total.
Leader of the Pack: Kevin Love
Love continued his dominance on Friday night. For the significance of his 28-point, 14-rebound and five-assist night, you can check the numbers game. Love was efficient in this one, going 10-of-18 from the field, 3-of-7 from the 3-point line and 5-of-6 from the free-throw line. This is the type of game that Love has made us expect out of him. That’s a good thing if you’re a fan of the Wolves.
Highlight of the Night
With 3:40 left in the first quarter, Corey Brewer ball faked two Piston defenders while throwing down a two-handed slam. It was Brewer’s fourth point of the evening and put the Wolves up 27-11. Brewer finished with eight points and four assists.
The Numbers Game
Wolves vs. Pistons
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“Nah, we’ve probably been at that point seven years ago. He didn’t have to say too much to me. We both have a great understanding.” — Wolves guard Kevin Martin on whether or not he’s at the point where Rick Adelman needs to tell him whether or not he needs be more aggressive.
The Wolves will have their third straight home game on Sunday night at 6 p.m. The game will air on Fox Sports North Plus and WCCO 830-AM.