MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES 136, BROOKLYN NETS 125
January 23, 2022
• Anthony Edwards finished the night with 25 points, after connecting on 8-of-17 from the field, including 4-of-8 from deep, his 25th 20+ point game of the season (61st career). His four threes mark the 18th time this season (31st career) he has connected on four-or-more from deep.
• With his second three-pointer of the night, Edwards became the youngest player (20y-171d) in NBA history to connect on 300 triples. Luka Doncic previously was the youngest player to do so, notching his 300th triple at 20y-358d. Edwards notched his 300th career three pointer in his 112th career game, the second fewest games in NBA history to reach that mark (Duncan Robinson, 95 games).
• D’Angelo Russell tallied 23 points, 10 assists and five rebounds, his third 20+ point/10+ assist/5+ rebound game of the season (fourth in a Timberwolves uniform and 11th career). Tonight also marked Russell’s fifth 20+ point/10+ assist game of the season (10th in a Timberwolves uniform and 25th career). The 10 games break his tie with Jeff Teague for the eighth-most games with 20+ points and 10+ assists in franchise history.
• Karl-Anthony Towns registered 23 points, 15 of them coming in the fourth quarter alone, accounting for the fourth time this season (63rd career) he has notched 10-or-more in the final frame. He added seven rebounds, two assists and two blocks. He has now registered multiple blocks in 15 games this season.
• With Edwards (25), Russell (23) and Towns (23) all scoring 20+ points tonight, the trio extended their league leading total of scoring 20+ points in the same game to seven games. The next trio in the NBA to all score 20+ in the same game is Kevin Durant, James Harden and Patty Mills and DeMar DeRozan, Nikola Vucevic and Zach LaVine (five times).
• Jaden McDaniels finished the night scoring 14 points and grabbing four rebounds, accounting for his 14th double-digit scoring effort of the season.
• Jarred Vanderbilt tallied nine points, nine rebounds and a career-high-tying five steals (May 7, 2021 at Miami).
• With the win tonight over the Nets, the Timberwolves snapped a three-game losing streak in the overall series with Brooklyn. The 136 points scored by Minnesota tonight mark a high for points scored by the Wolves in the overall series with the Nets.
• The Timberwolves forced 19 Brooklyn turnovers with one quarter remaining, the 42nd straight game forcing 10+ turnovers, extending the NBA’s longest active streak. The 19 Nets turnovers resulted in 28 points off turnovers for the Wolves, the 11th times this season (9-2) scoring 25+ points off opponent turnovers.
• Minnesota finished the night shooting 48-of-92 (52.2%) from the field, marking the eighth time this season they have shot at/or above 50.0%. The Timberwolves move to 8-0 when doing so.
• Led by Vanderbilt’s career-high-tying five steals, Minnesota grabbed 11 total steals, the 17th time this season they have tallied 10+ steals. The 17 games rank the Wolves sixth in the league for most games with 10+ steals.
• Minnesota notched 100 points with 1:43 minutes left in the third quarter, marking the fifth time this season and 37th time in team history that the Wolves have scored 100+ points through three quarters.
• Through the first half, Minnesota led 72-62, marking the 37th time in franchise history that the Timberwolves have scored 70+ in the first half of a game. Coming into tonight, the Wolves are 27-9 when scoring 70+ first half points.
TIMBERWOLVES HEAD COACH CHRIS FINCH
On the bench’s contribution…
“They all really contributed. Obviously, (Taurean Prince) had a perfect line out there today, and (Josh Okogie)’s defense was really good. Jaylen (Nowell) continues to really kinda like be a driver of a lot of offense, and we were able to play long stretches without (Anthony Edwards), (Karl-Anthony Towns), and (D’Angelo Russell) on the floor, which is something that we’ve not usually done, and that’s a tribute to those guys getting the job done out there. Even when the game tightened up, they found a way to respond. Made a couple hustle plays, which was good. You have to do that when the game gets tight.”
On the reason the bench played so much tonight…
“With the way the rotations unfolded, particularly like trying to match defenders for who they had in the game and not kinda break up too much of the flow of how that initial unit played. I thought that was kinda our best path to do it, and, you know, we were obviously on standby to make any kind of adjustments or subs if we needed to, but we didn’t need to, fortunately. Then we were kinda able to get back to matchups that we could start the game with and finish the game with if we needed to.”
TIMBERWOLVES CENTER KARL-ANTHONY TOWNS
On his fourth quarter performance…
“I mean, the game can’t be perfect every day. You’re never going to, so shot wasn’t falling, just gotta move on. I can’t be a detriment to this team. Shot wasn’t falling, so just trying to be the best defender I can be for this team, and making sure I impose myself in the paint, do all my defensive coverages correctly, and just be the best player I could be, but you know I had no doubt in the fourth quarter it was going to start clicking. I’ve said it in New York, that superstars show up when you need them the most, and the fourth quarter it got tight, so I had to show up at one point, so I felt very confident that in the fourth quarter I was going to start hitting shots, and I was right.”
On his teammates keeping Minnesota ahead despite his cold start…
“That’s the whole point. It doesn’t have to be me every night; that’s why we have great talents like D’Angelo Russell and Anthony Edwards. Like you gotta be able to lean on them, and they could carry the load just as well as myself. I truly believe that. I have confidence in that. So tonight, it was (Russell)’s night. (Russell) was going crazy, hitting shots, just leaning, directing everyone. He played a complete game, so just follow along; he’s the one with the hot hand tonight. If he needs me, which they need me in the fourth, I was going to be there for them. Just very confident, I have nothing but gratitude for my teammates for trusting me in the fourth after the night I was having. So, just to have that kind of confidence from them in the fourth after the way my game was going just speaks volumes about those guys and the trust they have in me, and I’ll going to always repay them.”
TIMBERWOLVES GUARD D’ANGELO RUSSELL
On the team’s potential after tonight’s game…
“Yup, exactly; I think tonight we showed everything. Think we rebounded solid, we made free throws, we made shots, we could’ve rebounded better, but I think we focused on this game, we did it, followed the game plan, and we saw the result.”
On the team pressure surrounding Karl-Anthony Towns…
“Yeah, I mean, earlier in the season, we knew what he was capable of; we knew how efficient he is and what he does. So, we kinda just put all the weight on his shoulders. Now, I think a lot of guys have that rhythm individually that allows them to take the pressure off of him. And guys like (Jaylen) Nowell, (Taurean Prince), Jaden (McDaniels), those guys are coming in bringing their own energy and spice to the game. Like I said, it takes the pressure off of everybody. So, I think that was just, you know, the bumps and bruises earlier in the season, us figuring out who we are as a team, what our identity is, and like I said, we’re in the process right now where every game being, we’re learning from every game, you know, and I think it’s how we do it. I said it earlier, how we lose, how we win. I think this is a great win for us, we did everything we were supposed to do, and like I said, the results were where they should be.”
NETS COACH STEVE NASH
On what went wrong defensively…
“Everything. I don’t know if we gave enough resistance, weren’t into the body enough, didn’t feel like our will or our force was felt defensively. Just whatever it was, we didn’t have the juice down there tonight. So maybe it’s the end of the trip, whatever it is, we tried to get up to find a way to hang in, see if we could get on a run defensively. We just never could get it.”
On the energy of the defense…
“I don’t think the defense was sustainable. We kinda get it down, and you look at it, so in those two pockets in the third and fourth, we still gave up 64 points in the second half. If you’re going to come back and win a game where you’re down 12 or whatever at halftime, you got to put together sustainable runs defensively. You gotta keep it going for longer stretches, and we just never could get more than a couple minutes, or two-three minutes, of stops.”
NETS GUARD JAMES HARDEN
On significance of fouls and turnovers…
“Well, I think it was both. Both was a little frustrating. We know that they do a good job of turning teams over. That’s how they get out, get in transition, get their points and for us, man, the fouls is pretty frustrating. You know, so a combination of both leads to not very good shots, not very good offense, and them getting easy ones.”
On if he’s changed from the beginning of the season and now…
“I don’t like, I just go to the basket. I just go to the basket. I have the right to do that, but I’m a little bit like, more strong and physical as a guard, so you know, but I just go to the basket and it’s defender’s, you know, opportunity, whether they have discipline and not foul me. You know, go A to A, jump straight up, put their hands up or reach or whatever the case may be, I don’t tell them to do that. So, I just go to the basket and try to finish the play.“
NETS GUARD KYRIE IRVING
On the foul discrepancy…
“I mean, you gotta give them credit. They were locked in on the defensive end. Showing a lot of help on boxes and elbows, and our ability to adjust on the fly looked good at times and then looked really really bad in terms, when I mentioned that, in terms of our spacing. You got (Jarred) Vanderbilt, (Jaden) McDaniels, two long wings being able to cover up a lot of space, and they just stuck to a good game plan against us. They watched a lot of film because you could tell they were very communicative out there, and they had the upper hand in energy tonight, and they were playing well off it. Then down the stretch, we were trying to get some big stops, and they went to kinda that big lineup that was pretty silent for most of the night, and they started getting to the line, starting hitting threes. It’s just a tale of momentum shifts in the game and us not being able to get to the line; that was par for the course. You look at the foul discrepancy; it was 29 to 17 tonight, so that was a big part of it. Shoot, they scored 26 points from the free-throw line alone. Take our lessons, learn from it and move on.”
On the energy of the Timberwolves…
“You know this game always comes down to timely possessions. So, getting stops and you feel the momentum shift, and then a few foul calls and turnovers go the other way, and the game shifts again, and it goes from a 6-point deficit to a 15-point. They play really fast, you know, it’s my first time playing against them, so for me to be out there seeing these guys mature. I just really relished in that moment, just seeing the way they play well off each other. That’s good to see in the NBA, just like a young talented team being able to come together, and you’re going against some veterans, and you foul out two of our guys, and you make things difficult. You can tell that they have a good synergy, so went against a good team tonight.”
(info courtesy of Timberwolves)