May 10, 2021

Ricky and Juancho shine in Minnesota win


Rubio and Hernangómez.

Rubio and Hernangómez.
EFE

The Timberwolves they got a Friday night important victory against the Atlanta Hawks by 119-111 on a great night of the two Spanish players of the Minnesota team, Ricky Rubio and Juancho Hernangómez, who together scored 31 points.

Rubio was the second highest scorer for his team, with 17 points, and also had 3 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals, while Hernangómez had 14 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists. The Wolves’ top scorer was center Karl-Anthony Towns (KAT) who after missing the last two games scored 24 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists.

The leading scorer of the game was Hawks star Jimmy Butler with 30 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 steals and 1 block. His teammate Trevor Ariza scored 21 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal and 2 blocks.

After two difficult matches Against the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday and the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday, in which the Timberwolves were swept away and conceded a total of 257 points, the Minnesotans needed a win to try to mentally rebuild the team. The Hawks were also interested in an easy win at the Target Center in Minneapolis to wash away the bad taste of their last two games, which also ended in losses for the Atlanta team.

But for the Timberwolves, the worst team of the season and sunk in the last place of the Western Conference With 42 losses and 14 victories, a victory was more necessary than for Atlanta, the fourth team in the Eastern Conference, and in the end it was the greatest desire of the Minnesota Timberwolves, and especially of their bench, which decided a game that it did not start well for the local team.

The performance of the Rubio and Hernangómez team in the first 12 minutes raised concerns that the Timberwolves would accumulate another defeat. After the first 4 minutes, the Wolves trailed 4-13, after conceding 0-9. In those minutes Butler had no trouble breaking through Minnesota’s flimsy defense with four consecutive innings to the basket. Anthony Edwards, the number 1 in the 2020 draft and the great promise that the Timberwolves are nurturing for the future, was unable to defend and was not right on offense.

With 3.35 left in the first quarter, the Hawks’ lead had expanded to 10 points, 18-28, and by the time the quarter ended the score was 26-37.

But at the beginning of the second quarter, with the Wolves bench on the court, the Minnesotans began to react and with a 10-2 run, including a triple by Hernangómez, they tied the game 39-39 with 8.39 to go. Rest.

The momentum of Hernangómez, Naiz Reid and Jarred Vanderbilt gave the Wolves wings. In five minutes, Hernangómez scored 9 points, including a basket tackle in which the Madrid forward outpointed three Hawks defenders. And when Rubio returned to the court, El Masnou’s point guard caught the energy and scored eight points, 6 of them the result of two triples. When the second quarter ended, Hernangómez and Rubio were the top two scorers for their team in the period, allowing the Wolves go to rest with a 61-61 on the scoreboard.

Around the break, Butler hit the gas again. The Hawks forward played all 12 minutes of the third quarter and scored 11 points. Butler’s performance was enough to drag his team down, which scored 32 points in the fourth, five more than the Timberwolves. The fourth quarter started with the Hawks ahead, 88-93. But the Wolves this time if they knew how to control the game. Reid (KAT was on the bench loaded with personnel), with six consecutive points, was in charge of closing the distance to 94-96 as soon as the last 12 minutes began.

Vanderbilt tied at 96-96. And it was the turn of Hernangómez who with a triple put the Wolves ahead, 99-96. From that moment on, Minnesotans gradually increased their advantage based on a rigorous defense and a selective attack imposed by Rubio that remained until the final whistle.

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