Timberwolves collapse in fourth quarter, lose 118-107 to Memphis
Karl-Anthony Towns had a pen in his hand and pointed it toward the Zoom camera often as he swung from side to side in his chair and spoke in annoyed tones following the Timberwolves’ 118-107 loss to Memphis on Wednesday.
The Wolves endured multiple blowouts this season and a couple of close losses, however possibly none was as deflating as the most current, a minimum of in Towns’ eyes.
The Wolves were near complete strength with only reserve Jake Layperson out for personal factors, and in an NBA season the COVID-19 has upended in the first month, these nights may be scarce. On top of that, Memphis had multiple factors out due to the fact that of injury, including reigning Rookie of the Year Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr
. However the Wolves couldn’t near the door on Memphis, who came barging through to erase a 12-point early fourth-quarter with a 14-0 run in the period of 2 minutes, 18 seconds. It left Towns sounding exasperated.
” You do not give these groups that type of life, particularly when they’re missing 2 of their star players,” Towns stated. “We’re going to get a loss like this when we let go of the rope, do not do what our system does and don’t have the discipline or the integrity to keep going to the strategy that was undoubtedly working for the very first 3 quarters.”
Towns main bone of contention was with the defense. How the Wolves ended up being unrestrained in the 2nd half, how they succumbed to duplicated pump phonies from Jonas Valunciunas (24 points) and Kyle Anderson (7), specifically in the fourth quarter when the Grizzlies outscored the Wolves 38-17.
” It’s extremely discouraging, to say the least,” Towns said. “I’m more dissatisfied with our discipline than our effort. We have actually got to do much better than that in the fourth quarter. We can’t have 3 quarters and be up by 10 and be ‘Cool, like that’s now how this NBA works. …
” But it’s the NBA– no boys allowed– so we’ve got to be grown … males and be prepared for the next one.”
As long as Towns (25 points, 14 rebounds), D’Angelo Russell (25) and Malik Beasley (28) were on the flooring together things were fine for the Wolves, who built leads with that trio on the floor. But sit any of them and it became a problem, especially in the fourth when only Russell was with Ricky Rubio, Naz Reid, Jarred Vanderbilt and Jarrett Culver as Memphis made its run.
Memphis’ bench outscored the Wolves 50-21 and the Grizzlies had 80 points in the paint, as coach Ryan Saunders pinned the latter on an ongoing absence of physicality.
” Usually that features experience and with time,” Saunders said. “Unfortunately we do not have that. We need it now.”
BOXSCORE: Memphis 118, Wolves 107
Towns stated the Wolves didn’t back up all they have said openly about who they wish to be.
” Can we stop the ball from being in the bucket is where the growth really enters our team,” Towns said. “That’s what makes us be a group on the fringe to still in the playoffs, a high-playoff seeded group to a champion group.”
Russell sounded disappointed also but not as demonstrably or vociferously as Towns. After he fielded a concern about his, Towns and Beasley’s production, he responded: “That’s unimportant. We lost.”
Before that, he said the biggest issue was the Wolves could not score down the stretch, not always the defense. A different draw from Towns that ended at the same location.
” We stopped scoring points in the fourth. It’s that basic,” Russell said. “Stopped getting stops. Stopped scoring.”