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Three Observations From Wolves Win Over Blazers

by Kyle Ratke, Digital Content Manager

Digital Content Manager

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The Wolves beat the Blazers 108-107 on Monday night at Target Center thanks to two Jimmy Butler free throws with 2.5 seconds on the clock.

Here are three observations from the game:

J-Crossover Is Back

In 23 minutes off the bench, Wolves guard Jamal Crawford scored 23 points, shooting 10-for-16 from the field and 2-for-2 from the free-throw line.

In Crawford’s previous three games, he scored a combined 10 points. He found his rhythm and shots like this, ones we’ve seen from Crawford over the years, kept the Wolves in the game.

“I guess in the fourth, I just wanted to be aggressive,” Crawford said after the game. “My teammates… Obviously, Jimmy is in my ear all the time. Taj is in my ear. My teammates just want me to be aggressive. Coach put me in some great situations. We saw something and we stuck with it. I think it was a good overall team win.”

Per 36 minutes, Crawford is scoring 18.8 points per game, up two points from last season.

Butler’s Back Not A Problem

All-Star wing Jimmy Butler went into the game as questionable, after tweaking his back in Saturday’s game against the Suns.

Well, Butler played. And he didn’t just play, he was the best player on the court for either team and his two free throws at the end of the game put the Wolves up for good and clinched the win.

Butler finished with a game-high 37 points to go with six rebounds, four assists and three steals. He shot an efficient 12-for-21 from the field, 2-for-3 from the 3-point line and 11-for-12 from the free-throw line.

He’s been on a roll lately, scoring 30 or more points in four of his last eight games.

Valuable Conference And Division Win

The win moves the Wolves to 18-13 overall, and drops the Blazers to 16-14 overall. It was a huge win considering Portland was just a half game behind Minnesota going into the game. Plus, Portland is in the Northwest Division with Minnesota. With the win, the Wolves are now 5-1 in division play. It doesn’t stop, though, as the Wolves travel to play the Nuggets in Denver on Wednesday night, Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. on Fox Sports North and 830 WCCO.