Falling short; Wolves lose 100-98

Aldridge, Blazers hang on to beat Wolves 100-98

Aldridge was simply unstoppable against the Wolves

Two Positives:

Jonah: For those who waited around long enough through the slum of a game that was the first three-and-a-half quarters, congrats because this one really got interesting fast. In typical Rubio fashion, he led the Wolves clawing their way back into a game they had no reason being in. The end result: an especially entertaining game that went down to the wire. Too often, though, have we been through this tale before. At what point do we start docking these heroic “comebacks,” that usually end up falling short, a negative rather than a positive?

Tom: Despite the final play, Dante Cunningham had an amazing game and it would be doing him a massive disservice to point only to his 23 points on 11-17 shooting. Instead, let’s point to his tough defense which included three steals, one of which turned into an easy basket for JJ Barea that brought Minnesota painfully, agonizingly close (97-96 with 36 seconds remaining). It was good to see him playing with passion and energy, because for much of the game, he was the only one doing so.

Two Negatives:

Jonah: Forget about everything that happened up to the point where the Wolves cut the lead to two. Rubio brought the ball up, dribbled down the baseline, around the paint and then through, seemingly looking to hit Pekovic for an easy lay in, but instead ended up tangoing around with the taller Aldridge the whole way through. He was left to heave up a desperate floater that was partially blocked. Aldridge misses two free throws after that and the Wolves have life again. They run a play to get Dante Cunningham open for a mid-range jumper — his go-to on this night — that was contested by no other than Aldridge yet again. Why even give Aldridge the chance to go after those two chances? Maybe they were both great plays by Aldridge but the Wolves never should’ve put themselves in a position to challenge him in the first place.

Tom: The final turnover tally: 28-12. You would assume that, in a game decided by two points, the team with 28 turnovers would lose. Not so. Portland was every kind of sloppy, and although the Wolves came close to capitalizing late, they had dug themselves such a deep whole that not even 28 turnovers could pull them out.

Two Observations:

Jonah: Time and time again, Wesley Matthews as donned himself the “Timberwolf Hunter,” with his weapon of choice being the long ball. He went 4-8 from deep in this one and tallied a total of 22 points, second on the team behind LaMarcus Aldridge.

Tom: After losing seemingly 2,560 of their last 2,561, it’s a little bit staggering to me that, despite their 18-27 record, the Wolves remain 12-10 at home. 6-17 on the road is an absolutely brutal total.

Next up: San Antonio comes to town Wednesday night, 8 pm.