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Wolves' Team Effort Overpowers Clippers In An Important Victory

by Julian Andrews
Web Editorial Associate Follow

In a competitive but entertaining game, the Wolves earned an important victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night, 130-120.

The Wolves were clearly eager to impose their will on the Clippers. Though their aggressiveness led to a few misguided fouls and some sloppy play early on, Minnesota tightened up their execution without dropping their energy and took it to the Clippers in the second quarter. They went on an 18-3 run to end the period—getting out on the break, grabbing offensive boards and making life difficult for Los Angeles on the defensive end. Minnesota’s performance in the final minutes of the second was some of the best basketball the Wolves had played in weeks. 

The Wolves also pounded the ball into the middle in the first half, scoring 46 points in the paint. That’s their second-highest total since the 1996-97 season. It was clear that the Wolves were making an effort to be aggressive and get high-quality looks at the basket, and that result paid off.

In the second half, the Wolves kept up their energy and execution to maintain control of a competitive game. Minnesota led by as many as 23 in the game, and though the Clippers came back and cut the lead to eightgoing into the fourth, the Wolves buckled down, survived a Lou Williams onslaught and secured an absolutely critical victory. 

The Wolves undeniably got a boost from Derrick Rose and Jeff Teague, both of whom played a full load of minutes tonight. Both guards looked fresh and aggressive. Teague finished with 15 points and 10 assistsand Rose with 22 and six dimes. 

This game was defined by the Wolves’ balance on offense. Seven Minnesota players reached double figures. Dario Saric got his second start of the season and played very well, scoring 19 points including four threes and adding eight rebounds and two steals. Gibson, coming off the bench, finished with 14 points. Karl-Anthony Towns led the Wolves in scoring with 24 points, and added 10 rebounds and two steals. 

Outside of their balance on offense, the Wolves won because of several important efforts across the stat sheet. They absolutely crushed the Clippers in the turnover battle, forcing 21 Los Angeles giveaways and swiping 14 steals. The Wolves also dominated the offensive glass 16-to-8 and assisted on 28 baskets to the Clippers’ 24.

None of those stats are eye-popping on their own but taken together they paint a picture of a team that was locked in, playing together and desperately wanting a win. They got that win tonight. It’s just one step, and there’s a long way to go to fight back into the playoffs, but by beating the Clippers the Wolves kept that effort alive. Next up is the Rockets in what should be a very fun night. Tickets for that game are available here.

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