The Minnesota Timberwolves travel to Phoenix tonight to face Steve Nash and the Suns. The Suns have won 18 of their last 23 meetings against the Wolves. The Wolves are trying to put an end to a 13 game losing streak on the road without All-Star Kevin Love, who will miss the final two games of the regular season. The Wolves are currently tied with the Cleveland Cavaliers with the worst record and after Saturday’s loss to the Nuggets where they surrendered a franchise record 19 three-pointers, including 10 straight three pointers from former Wolves draft pick (who was later traded to the Nuggets on Draft Night) Ty Lawson; it would not surprise me to see them end up with the worst record in the NBA.
The Wolves got off to a fast start in the first quarter; shooting 55% from the field to take an early 36-28 lead. Wolves guard Luke Ridnour paced the Wolves with eight points on 4-4 shooting, 5 rebounds and 5 assists.
Wolves forward Anthony Randolph’s one handed throw down gave the Wolves a 43-40 lead with six minutes to play in the second quarter. Randolph has been playing well of late; averaging 17 points a game in the last three contests. A three pointer by suns forward Channing Frye cut the Suns deficit to 56-53 with 2:20 left in the half. Wolves reserve Anthony Tolliver’s tip in at the buzzer gave the Wolves a 65-58 lead at the half. Tolliver leads the Wolves with 16 points on 7-7 shooting.
Frye’s sixth three pointer of the night cut the Wolves lead to 81-77 in the third quarter. Wolves rookie Wesley Johnson’s 15 foot jump shot gave the Wolves a 91-87 lead but the Suns came storming back behind a 10-3 run led by forward Jared Dudley, who hit a pair of three pointers and a pair of lay-ups in the last two minutes of the quarter to tie the game 92-92 heading into the fourth quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Wolves Michael Beasley got hot scoring 10 points early in the quarter, helping the Wolves sustain their lead 104-100 with 6 minutes left in the game. But the Suns answered with a pair of Frye three pointers to give the Suns a 111-108 lead. Beasley and Frye continued to trade baskets as the lead changed hands several times between the two teams. Wolves Martell Webster’s clutch three pointer from the corner gave the Wolves a 119-118 lead with 38.4 seconds to play but All-World Point Guard Steve Nash answered with a three-pointer of his own to give the Suns back the lead 121-119 with 27.3 seconds. It was Nash’s third field goal attempt of the night, as he was mostly setting up teammates with 15 assists for the game. Beasley’s isolation and dribble drive basket tied up the score at 121-121 but Beasley missed his free throw to give the Suns one last attempt. Suns Grant Hill missed a point blank shot off the glass to send the game into overtime.
Frye’s ninth three pointer in overtime gave the Suns a 126-124 lead with 2 minutes to play and Dudley’s fifth three pointer with a minute left put the game away for good, as the Suns defeated the Wolves in overtime, 135-127.
After surrendering 19 three-pointers to the Nuggets last Saturday, the Wolves gave up 18 three-pointers to the Suns tonight. The Suns were led by Frye’s 33 points and 9 three pointers. Beasley had 26 points and 6 rebounds for the Wolves.
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Written by Phil Aguila