Another night, another close win for the Phoenix Suns. Tonight, the Suns overcame a sluggish start to squeak by the Minnesota Timberwolves 113-111 and improve their record to 22-16. Despite poor shooting early on, the Suns outlasted the Timberwolves (5-29) after an Andrew Wiggins three-pointer bounced off the rim.
The Timberwolves started the game off strong, and ended the first quarter up by 25-20. T-Wolves guard Mo Williams led all scorers in the first quarter with eight points.
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But that would not last long, as Minnesota’s hot shooting propelled them to a 42-33 lead at the 5:16 mark of the second quarter.
The real stars of the second quarter were the most recent first round picks, Anthony Bennett and Andrew Wiggins. Bennett played surprisingly well by attacking the glass in his early playing time.
Wiggins continued his hot shooting streak going 6-of-9 from the field and putting in 13 points.
At the half, Minnesota led Phoenix by the score of 48-45. Goran Dragic was the Suns’ only double-digit scorer at half with 12 points. The key stat at half was 50 percent shooting (21-for-42) for the T-Wolves compared to 36 percent shooting (18-for-50) for the Suns. Despite the Timberwolves’ hot shooting, Phoenix ended the half hot to only be down by three points.
Minnesota jumped to a 60-47 lead during the first minutes of the third quarter to extend their lead.
From then on, the teams traded baskets and at the end of the third, the Timberwolves led 78-71.
Gerald Green started off the fourth quarter hot by dropping 13 points to help Phoenix retake the lead 86-82.
Just like the third quarter, both teams traded blows throughout the fourth quarter and with 30 second left in the game, Phoenix held a slim 109-104 lead after a clutch jumper from Markieff Morris following a steal and score from Eric Bledsoe.
But of course that wasn’t enough, as Mo Williams promptly buried a three to cut the Phoenix lead to 109-107.
After a barrage of free throws from both teams, Andrew Wiggins missed the game-winning three pointer as time expired to ensure a 113-111 victory for the Suns.
Goran Dragic led the way for the Suns with 25 points, Gerald Green scored 21 points, and Bledsoe and Thomas each dropped 17.
Andrew Wiggins scored 25 points to lead the Timberwolves, Mo Williams recorded a double-double with 23 points and 11 assists, and Anthony Bennett also finished with a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Wiggy, Wiggy, Wiggy
Although Andrew Wiggins’ last second three-pointer did not fall for Minnesota, he still had an amazing game, scoring 25 and going 10-for-16 from the field in doing so. Moreover, he was constantly hitting clutch shots when his team desperately needed points, especially when he put the moves on Alex Len near the end of the fourth quarter.
Additionally, his 25-point effort tonight means he has scored at least 20 points in his last five games. Wiggins and the T-Wolves may have lost the game, but his great play is not going unnoticed.
Starting Out Slow
In two straight nights, the Suns have let inferior competition outplay them for good portions of the game. However, in both those games, the Suns did end up pulling away. It’s one thing to let the Bucks stick around, since they are a legitimate playoff team in the Eastern Conference, but the T-Wolves should not have been such a struggle.
This Minnesota team has the worst record in the Western Conference and at some points in this game it looked like they would pull away. Phoenix will not be able to struggle in the first half and still pull out a win when they play the San Antonio Spurs and Memphis Grizzlies to close out the road trip.
Green Comes Up Clutch
No, Gerald Green did not make the game-winning basket, but he still made great plays at the beginning of the fourth quarter that totally changed the dynamic of the game.
Before Green went off, the T-Wolves had the momentum and were in control of this game, but his three three-pointers served as a huge momentum shift for the Suns. Green would go on to hit two more free throws to score 21 in the game and 15 in the fourth.