KAT Dominates In His Return, But Wolves Take The Loss In Denver
You can’t say that the Wolves didn’t put up a fight, but they weren’t able to get the road win in Denver on Tuesday night, losing 107-133. It was a lot closer of a game than the final score suggested—the Wolves held their own for much of the night and didn’t let Denver run away with it until midway through the fourth quarter. Minnesota was led by a monster effort from Karl-Anthony Towns who returned to the lineup after missing the Wolves’ victory over the Knicks with knee soreness.
While the Nuggets got the win, Towns is going to be circled and underlined in Denver’s scouting reports for the rest of eternity after his performance tonight (not that he wasn’t already). Towns absolutely destroyed Nikola Jokic whenever he took him on, finishing with 34 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and three blocks. Towns got his points on everything from basic post moves to sick crossovers to deep three-pointers, allowing Minnesotans to release the collective breath they’d been holding ever since he re-aggravated his knee in the closing seconds of the Wolves’ win over the Wizards. This was exactly the Towns we’d become accustomed to seeing after the All-Star break—simply unstoppable.
Tyus Jones was also excellent. Jones got the start as Derrick Rose and Jeff Teague nursed injuries and he took full advantage, playing 26 minutes and finishing with an extremely efficient 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting. Cam Reynolds also played well—though most of his damage was done after the game was decided he finished with a career-high 12 points, all three pointers. Keita Bates-Diop once again led the team in minutes, finishing with nine points, five rebounds, four assists and a block. Though he didn’t shoot the ball well, his seemingly ever-growing array of skills has been the story of the last few games.
The culprit in this game was a usual suspect—defense. The Nuggets shot a scorching 60 percent from the field and hit 18 three pointers out of 30 attempts. Not good. The Nuggets also collected 40 assists. Denver is a very good passing team, so you’re not going to be able to shut them down completely, but the Wolves needed to do a better job gumming things up and making it difficult for the Nuggets to move the ball.
The Wolves have another shot at a Western Conference opponent on Thursday when they travel to Utah to take on the Jazz.