The Minnesota Timberwolves have recently made a name for themselves as being one of the least clutch teams in the entire NBA. They lost to the Sacramento Kings, Phoenix Suns and Oklahoma City Thunder this month all in games decided by four or less points, but Friday night was a different story as the Wolves finally hit a shot late in the game to beat the Golden State Warriors by a score of 121-120.
The Timberwolves have been great in the first quarter this season — leading the NBA in scoring — but they have been one of the worst teams at closing in the entire league. They were tested by the Warriors throughout as the game remained close, but a Kevin Martin deep two with eight seconds remaining sealed a much needed victory for the 21-21 Timberwolves.
With a .500 record for the first time in nearly a month the Timberwolves are just 2.5 games out of the eighth seed in the Western Conference — a spot currently held by the Dallas Mavericks. The Wolves are on a three-game winning streak now and are going up against the Portland Trail Blazers this Saturday evening — another team that’s currently in-front of them in the Western Conference playoff race.
The Wolves did beat the Trail Blazers in their only previous matchup this season, and with Kevin Love, Kevin Martin and Nikola Pekovic coming off impressive showings Friday night I expect the Wolves to give the Blazers another competitive game. The three combined for 74 of the team’s 121 points against the Warriors, and the only concerning matchup Saturday night will be Love against LaMarcus Aldridge.
Aldridge was passed over once again when it came to the All-Star staring lineup, but Love got the nod as the West’s staring power forward meaning he’ll hopefully prove the fans made the right decision as when the Wolves take on the Blazers at 10 p.m. ET.