The Timberwolves of Ricky Rubio today in Cleveland caressed the victory against the Cavaliers, whom they had already defeated on Sunday in Minnesota, but lost by a tight 100-98 in a game in which Ricky’s men suffered another day absence of her tall man, Karl Anthony Towns (KAT).
The great beneficiary of the absence of KAT, which continues to decline after contracting the covid-19, was the Cavaliers center, Jarret Allen, who finished the night with a double-double of 23 points and 18 rebounds in addition to punishing the Wolves with 5 blocks. The top scorer of the game was teammate Collin Sexton, with 26 points.
Meanwhile, in the Wolves, the most effective were once again the point guard D’Angelo Russell, with 18 points, and forward Anthony Edwards, with 13 points. Rubio finished the game with 2 points, 4 assists and 5 rebounds.
Allen’s performance made the Cleveland team practically not notice the absence of their starting center, Andre Drummond, on leave due to back problems. And when Allen wasn’t on the court, his replacement, JaVale McGee, took it upon himself to scare the Minnesota shooters with his 2.13 meters tall.
From the first moments of the game, Allen wanted to make it clear that the athletic qualities of names like Anthony Edwards, the young star-in-formation of the Wolves, or Josh Okogie were not going to be enough to dominate the hoops.
In the Wolves’ first attack, Okogie dunk off Allen, who bluntly denied the Minnesota forward the basket. Allen’s denial against Okogie was like a challenge to the Minnesota players, who, at various times during the game, seemed like they made an effort to conclude the plays with mate to try to make up for the blocks received.
The result was that the Cavaliers punished the Minnesotans with 12 plugs while the Wolves were only able to impose one on their opponents.
The party started with parity. In the first 12 minutes, the two teams shared the lead on the scoreboard and, although the Cavs went as far as 7 points away, Minnesotans were able to tie the game 29-29 at the end of the first quarter thanks to the shock it was. Rubio’s entry in the absence of 4 minutes for the conclusion.
It was in the second quarter that Minnesotans missed KAT and his dominance under the boards the most and when Cleveland’s centers hurt Minnesota players the most. The Cavs blocked five shots and the confidence of the Minnesota shooters vanished with two straight blocks from McGee.
Until that point, the Cavs were 2 points ahead of the Wolves (36-34). But soon the difference widened to 7 (45-38) and after two more blocks, from Isaac Okoro and Allen, the second quarter ended with a 52-44 on the scoreboard. In those 12 minutes, the Wolves shooters could only score 15 points.
After the break, the Wolves came out with greater defensive intensity, allowing the Cavs to only score 24 points during the third quarter, one more than the Wolves scored. At 76-67, Minnesotans could still dream of victory.
The first 3.30 minutes of the last period confirmed that the Wolves could win their second consecutive game against the Cavaliers: they achieved a 0-11 run and took the lead (77-78) for the first time since the beginning of the first quarter. .
But the final effort, especially from Russell who after hitting just 1 triple of 7 attempts, in the last minute scored two consecutive triples, was useless. The Wolves remain in last place in the Western Conference, with 16 losses and just 5 wins.