Timberwolves squeak out 124-95 thriller over Cavaliers

If it wasn’t for Ricky, the Wolves would have been SCREWED.

If there’s anything to be said about this Cavaliers squad, it’s that they are a scrappy bunch that’s willing to do whatever it takes to win.

Unfortunately for Cleveland, the Wolves were just a little bit better tonight — besting the Cavs by 29 at the Target Center.

Wolves fans were on the edges of their seats from the beginning, as Minnesota scored just 38 points in the first quarter and 70 in the first half. The Wolves ended up with 124 points, which tied the game for 18th highest scoring in Wolves history. This, as anybody could tell you, is not as good as 17th and was cause for significant concern for fans and analysts alike.

Minnesota was bailed out by the performances of Kevin Love, who needed 16 shots to get 33 points, and Corey Brewer who made all of his 3-pointers but was a concerning 5-for-12 from inside the arc.

Now that we’ve all regained our breath a little bit, let’s take a look at some bullet points — an appropriate term, given the bullet the Wolves dodged this evening.

  • A late 6-0 run by Cleveland nearly brought them back into the game, making the score 121-95. Fortunately, Alexey Shved’s 3-pointer with 17 seconds left iced it for Minnesota.
  • Minnesota needed every single one of Rubio’s career-high 16 assists, as well as his 16 points on seven shots. Pretty scary stuff imagining what would have happened without either of those things.
  • Robbie Hummel started for Minnesota and scored 10 points in 28 minutes. He was 2-for-2 from 3-point range, part of a 9-for-14 night for the starters from downtown. Kevin Martin’s absence was definitely felt, but the Wolves shot juuuust well enough from downtown to make up for it.
  • Anthony Bennett missed a dunk pretty badly late in the fourth, which was definitely a turning point, probably.
  • Nikola Pekovic was 5-for-7 with 10 points in 19 minutes which means something, but I’m still too stressed out to know exactly what.

The Wolves are 6-3 now, but after a game like that, one has to wonder how much longer this team can continue to wrestle victory away from the jaws of defeat. And, Wolves fans, don’t forget to click here to check current basketball lines.

Follow Tom on Twitter: @Tom_NBA.