Cavaliers destroy Timberwolves
The Cavaliers overwhelmed the Timberwolves in Minneapolis and defeated them 106-123 in a game in which Ricky Rubio's team dominated from start to finish and was 33 points ahead with 6 minutes remaining until the final whistle. The Cavaliers, who are already the third best defensive team of the NBA Only behind the Golden State Warriors and the Phoenix Suns, they never gave an option to the attack of the locals, who at no time were ahead on the scoreboard. And in attack, the rapport between Darius Garland and Jarret Allen, and Rubio and Kevin Love, along with the Cavaliers 'inside game, broke the Wolves' weak defense.
Seven Cavs players finished the game with more than 10 points to their credit, and three of them with double-doubles. The top scorer for Cleveland was Allen, who had a double-double of 21 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and 2 blocks. Garland also left with a double-double of 12 points, 12 assists, 2 rebounds, and 1 steal, while Love, off the bench, scored 18 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal and 1 block. Ricky Rubio, who faced the team he played for last season, finished the night with 6 points, 4 rebounds and 8 assists.
For the Wolves, the leading scorer was center Karl-Anthony Towns, who had 21 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and 3 blocks. Malik Beasly, off the bench, added 15 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists. Anthony Edwards had to settle for 13 points, with a poor 1 of 8 from the line of 3, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 1 block. Argentine Leandro Bolmaro, who came to Wolves this year from Barcelona, played 15 minutes in which he scored 2 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 steals.
Cavaliers resolve in 270 seconds
The Timberwolves entered the game on a losing streak of four matches against the Utah Jazz, Washington Wizards, Brooklyn Nets and Atlanta Hawks that had left them in ninth place in the Western Conference. For their part, the Cavs were sixth in the Eastern Conference, in full swing, after a convincing 115-92 victory against the Chicago Bulls on Thursday.
The Cavs needed 270 seconds to resolve the game.. The Cleveland team started the game with their usual scheme: take advantage of the size of Allen, Mobley and Markkanen to punish the Wolves' paint. With this strategy, the Cavaliers began to score points in quick succession. The Wolves held the rhythm for 90 seconds but after scoring 4 points, the locals fell apart. With 9.33 minutes remaining in the first quarter, the Cavs were already ahead 4-10, with 4 consecutive points resulting from two 'alley oops' by Allen to which Timberwolves coach Chris Finch responded with his first time out. Two minutes later, after 2 steals, 1 block and another 'alley oop', this time from Mobley, the scoreboard already indicated a difference of 16 points in favor of the Cavs, 4-20. Finch requested another time out. By the time the first 12 minutes of play were up, the Wolves had cut the gap to 6 points, 20-34, but Minnesotans knew that the game had ended with unappealable statistics. The Cavs had a 3-point shooting percentage of 66.7% while their field goal percentage was 60.9%. The Wolves' numbers were 10% and 31.8%, respectively. Of the Cavs' 34 points, 20 had been from the paint for just 10 for the Timberwolves.
The Cavs didn't let up in the second quarter. In attack, Markkanen, Allen and Isaac Okoro continued with their effectiveness of the first 12 minutes. On defense, the Cavs once again demonstrated their ability to sacrifice by protecting the rim against Edwards' explosive athleticism.
Bad percentages for the Timberwolves
When the game came to rest with a 44-65 On the scoreboard, Finn Markkanen was the Cavs' leading scorer with 15 points, while Malik Beasley led the Timberwolves with 10 points. The two teams maintained the shooting percentages of the first quarter: the visitors above 60% and the locals with 15.8% in triples and 32.6% in field goals. After the break, the Cavs just kept their lead. Although their shooting effectiveness fell in percentage, the Cleveland team scored 27 points in the third quarter, the same as the Timberwolves, which left the score at 71-92.
In the last 12 minutes, Cleveland's men again tightened on defense, which ended up drowning the Wolves. The Cleveland team achieved their biggest lead of the game, 33 points, with 6 minutes remaining with a triple by Rubio. At that point, JB Bickerstaff, the Cavs coach, decided that the Wolves' punishment was enough and put all of his substitutes on track, including the 2.29-meter Senegalese Tacko Fall, while Finch kept his starters. In the final minutes, the Wolves cut the gap to 17 points, 106-123, but the party went to the Cavaliers from start to finish.