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Wolves Fight Back But Fall Victim To Tired Legs Against Sixers

by Julian Andrews
Web Editorial Associate Follow

The night after a wild overtime victory over the Golden State Warriors, the Wolves didn’t have enough left in the tank to defeat the Philadelphia 76ers and took a 118-109 loss.

In his return to Target Center, the Wolves did a good job of keeping Jimmy Butler in check, allowing him just 12 points on 23.5-percent shooting, but were torched by Tobias Harris and Jonah Bolden, who got the start for a resting Joel Embiid. It was on defense that the Wolves struggled most—they were simply unable to keep up with the Sixers on tired legs from the night before.

It wasn’t a complete blow-out. The Wolves were down by as many as 21 but made a run in the third quarter and had the deficit down to single digits for the entire fourth quarter. For the second night in a row the team showed a ton of heart and battled back to compete in the contest, but unlike on Friday they just couldn’t finish the job.

The biggest difference in the game between the two teams was on the glass. The Sixers grabbed 15 offensive rebounds to the Wolves’ four and outrebounded Minnesota 55-36 overall. Bolden got hot from three which pulled Karl-Anthony Towns out of the middle. That was difficult to overcome for the Wolves’ rebounding effort.

Cameron Reynolds was a bright spot tonight. He finished with a very efficient ten points on three-for-five shooting (two-of-three from range), and played good defense throughout. He also grabbed four rebounds. In addition, Andrew Wiggins had another aggressive and productive game. He ended the night with 24 points, six rebounds, five assists and two blocks. Wiggins shot 50-percent from the field and was two-of-five from three.

It hurts to lose a game like this, especially when it would have been nice to get the moral victory over Butler. However, the Wolves didn’t play badly and continued to show good fight in the face of long odds. They’ll get a day of much-needed rest on Sunday before they face the Blazers on Monday.

There’s no doubt that it’s been a tough few games for Towns. He scored just 21 points tonight and failed to hit a three. However, it’s important to remember that because Towns has been so ridiculously good lately our expectations have become inflated. A 21-point outing on the second night of a back to back is not the end of the world. If you read anything about how Towns has lost his touch, close that tab. It’s not true. He’ll have a big opportunity to rebound on Monday against a Blazers team that’s missing its starting center Jusuf Nurkic.

While the fans might not have gone home happy on Saturday, it’s still been a heck of a weekend. If you’d told most fans that the Wolves would go 1-1 on Friday and Saturday, many wouldn’t have believed you. They aren’t thrilled tonight, but the Wolves still have a lot to be proud of.

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