Wolves Wrap Up Summer League With Win Over Blazers

by Mark Remme
Web Editor

Wolves Wrap Up Summer League With Win Over Blazers

Mark Remme
Wolves Editor/Writer

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Friday’s 72-66 win over the Portland Trail Blazers was more a test of will than anything for the Timberwolves. Playing in their fifth game in five nights, the players were tired, their bodies were taxed and they were competing a night after being eliminated from Summer League championship contention.

In the end, the Wolves endured and ensured they’d leave Las Vegas having won their last game. And given it’s a business trip for these players—many of whom are trying to secure a Training Camp invite with an NBA team through their play—Minnesota coach David Adelman got the opportunity to mix up his matchups.

“We aimed to get them a lot of playing time, play through some mistakes, and they did a good job,” Adelman said. “And we finished the game really well, so I thought we were pretty organized.”

The Wolves trailed 62-57 with five minutes to play, but they found a way to dig deep and put together a late run. After a collection of free throws, Brandon Paul’s 3-pointer put the Wolves up 63-62. A Gorgui Dieng jumper extended the lead to three, and after Lorenzo Brown drove to the basket and scored the Wolves held a 67-64 lead.

After a Blazers field goal, Othyus Jeffers made the play of the game by getting to the rim, laying it in and drawing the foul. He connected from the line and extended the Wolves’ lead to four with 26 seconds left. Jeffers has impressed all week with his tough defensive play, but his late basket secured the win.

“Jeffers had a great week,” Adelman said. “I mean, we knew he was a professional, he’s been in the league, but the type of shape he’s in, the way he competes, the way he guards three positions. He just goes about his business the right way. It’s good for the young players to see him play.”

The Wolves got 13 points out of Brown on the night on 4-of-7 shooting, and he also pitched in eight rebounds and four assists. Gorgui Dieng had 10 points and three blocked shots, Kee Kee Clark had nine points on 3-of-4 shooting from beyond the arc, Jeffers added nine of his own and Brandon Paul had eight.

The Blazers finished the tournament 1-5 despite having a collection of NBA players on their roster. They brought 2013 first round Draft pick C.J. McCollum as well as Meyers Leonard, Thomas Robinson and Will Barton to Summer League, but none of them played on Friday night.

Terrel Harris had 25 points for the Blazers, while Cedric Jackson had 15, Allen Crabbe had nine and Olek Czyz had seven.

Leader of the Pack

Lorenzo Brown had a nice week overall and might have put together the best all-around week of the three rookies from this year’s Draft. He finished off strong with 13 points on 4-of-7 shooting tonight, including 2-of-2 from 3-point range and some clutch plays in the fourth that helped secure the win. He also added eight rebounds and four assists. “I feel comfortable. That was basically the whole thing I had to do was get comfortable and try to figure out what type of players the guys are,” Brown said about his week at Summer League. “That’s my job as the point guard. I thought I did a pretty good job this last game.

Highlight of the Game

Holding a 67-66 lead with 48 seconds left in the fourth, the Wolves got a big-time play from Othyus Jeffers in the lane. Jeffers, who has played in the NBA and has spent most of the past three seasons in the D-League, got to the hoop and finished a lay-up while drawing the foul. He hit the free-throw making it a four-point game. On the Blazers’ ensuing possession, Jeffers pulled down a defensive rebound that wound up leading to a pair of Brown free throws.

The Numbers Game

  • The Wolves shot 14-of-31 in the first half while holding the Blazers to 14-of-36 shooting.
  • After allowing 38 free throw attempts last game, the Wolves held Portland to just six in the first half and 16 overall.
  • Terrel Harris shot 7-of-10 in the first half for the Blazers. The Wolves got similar production out of Kee Kee Clark and Mychel Thompson, who combined to shoot 6-of-7 in the first half.
  • The Blazers sat six of their players on Friday night, including C.J. McCollum, Meyers Leonard, Will Barton and Thomas Robinson.
  • Quote of the Night

    “I liked the progression of all our young players. Sometimes progress is made through mistakes and failures. It’s just how you learn from it day to day.” — Wolves Summer League coach David Adelman

    Next Up

    Tonight was the final Summer League game for the Timberwolves. They wrapped up the week-long event with a 3-3 record, including going 1-2 in pool play and 2-1 in the tournament. Tonight’s game will be played on tape delay on NBATV at 8 a.m. CT on Saturday.

    For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Timberwolves and Mark Remme on Twitter.