Timberwolves def. Jazz Behind Huge Jamal Crawford 4th Quarter

1st Half:

For the first half of this game, we watched the Wolves get used to playing with each other on both ends of the floor again. Luckily, the Jazz weren’t any better. I feel like I could just copy/paste my recap from the last game into this first half and nobody would know the difference. The turnovers on offense were a BIG problem. They had 9 in the first half total.

Wiggins was the Wolves’ best offensive player by far in the first half, scoring 16 points. He also had 4 rebounds, which might be more than he has ever had in a whole game, before tonight. The Wolves struggled to get Towns good shots again in the first half. He ended the half with 11 points, good for 2nd most on the team, but had to make tough shots to get there.

Towns again frustrated us with his defense. I almost typed “defensive effort” in that last sentence. However, I can’t blame it on effort. Everything we know about Karl tells us it wouldn’t be due to a lack of effort or work ethic. So we will continue to sit on our hands and hope he will figure it out because it is hard to watch at times.

It’s currently halftime as I type this first half recap. Wiggins hit a last second 33 footer to put the Wolves ahead by 4. To be better in the 2nd half, Butler needs to take more control of this offense. He looks tentative again in this game early on. Same thing goes for Teague. Both guys seem like they’re still trying to find their place on this team.

Taj Gibson’s defense has definitely shown in the first half. It’s hard for even the best post-defender to make up for Towns on that end of the court right now but he is doing his best. He was big on the boards in the 1st half too, especially on offense where he snagged 3 of his 7. Defense overall wasn’t very good even though the score was low. It was a sloppy half. I may have seen things start to improve defensively, toward the end of that 2nd half though, when the Timberwolves took the lead.

Halftime: Timberwolves Lead 46-42

Here are some first half highlights:

2nd Half:

The 3rd quarter went about 7-8 minutes before the Wolves started to figure things out. However, it did seem like the defense was picking up and the offense didn’t look quite as confused. Then, with a few minutes left in the quarter, things started to click a bit. The defense picked up and the ball started going in. Before we knew it, the Wolves had gone on a 10-0 run and had taken the lead back (which was a 6 point deficit moments earlier). The Wolves led by 5, all of a sudden, as we entered the fourth quarter. Closing has been an issue for this young team in years passed. That needs to change.

Wow, the fourth quarter ended in a bang. The Wolves almost gave the game away. Ricky Rubio thought he was playing soccer with all of his flopping. He shot 47 free throws. He hit 46 of them. With just over 4 minutes left, the Wolves were up 10 and it felt like the fat lady was singing. But, of course, it can’t be that easy.

While Utah came back because of Rubio’s free throws and flops, the Wolves helped them by going back to their first half mistakes and turning the ball over. It almost cost them the game. But, Thibs picked up a guy named Jamal Crawford in the offseason and he took over the 4th quarter, scoring 17 points in that last quarter alone.

I just watched his interview with Marney Gellner after the game and he confirmed being the nicest guy of all-time on top of it all. What a huge signing. The second best player in the 4th quarter was Nemanja Bjelica. That’s not a typo. Here are the 2nd half highlights, up to the last 30 seconds when things got real interesting.

After bad TWolves’ fouls, that helped the Jazz score 6 points in 1 minute, it looked like another Timberwolves’ giveaway. But, Jamal Crawford knew it was Friday and nobody likes to go out and celebrate a loss. He continued his takeover of the fourth quarter with this shot. The next Jazz possession took 3 years from my life but it was worth it.

FINAL: Timberwolves WIN 100-97

This was a huge victory for the Timberwolves and the last thing I wanted to do tonight was write a recap to a loss. Now, we will talk about what a great signing Jamal Crawford was. I just got a text about how good we will be when Butler and Teague get comfortable. How about when the defense starts to sink in?

Wins bring positive vibes, even if the win wasn’t that pretty, we’ll take it.

Here is Jamal Crawford. Great player. Great guy.

Up Next:

Timberwolves (1-1) @ Oklahoma City Thunder (1-0) – Sunday, October 22 – 6:00 PM

Eric Strack
Minnesota Sports Fan @RealMNSportsFan

Stat and Schedule Help from ESPN

Photo: @Timberwolves

Mentioned in this article:

More About: