Wolves Summer League Recap: Minnesota Timberwolves Scores and Highlights
We're always a little wary of drawing too many strong conclusions from the NBA Summer League – especially for a team like the Minnesota Timberwolves that’s trying to climb up the Western Conference hierarchy. However, the Wolves offseason went better than expected, with the team ultimately finishing as the runners up in the Las Vegas NBA Summer League. With the regular season on the horizon and plenty of time left to grab Timberwolves tickets for the 2019-20 campaign, let’s recap how the Wolves did this summer.
Timberwolves 85, Cavaliers 75
The Wolves Summer League started off strong with a win over the Cavaliers. After playing 30 games as a rookie last season, Keita Bates-Diop immediately took charge, leading the Timberwolves with 17 points in the win over the Cavs. Josh Okogie, a former 1st-round pick who played major minutes for Minnesota late last season, also made his presence known in the Summer League opener. Okogie didn’t shoot a good percentage from the field, but he converted all 10 of his free-throw attempts on his way to scoring 14 points. Center Naz Reid also scored nine points, making both of his 3-point attempts to help secure the win.
Timberwolves 90, Hawks 66
On Day 3 of the Summer League, the Wolves absolutely obliterated the Hawks in a lopsided game. The Wolves had a 13-point lead after the 1st quarter and never looked back. Once again, Okogie and Bates-Diop led the way – a common theme in Minnesota’s games this summer. Despite another rough shooting performance, Okogie led the team with 15 points while also contributing on the other end of the court with seven rebounds and three blocks. Bates-Diop again scored double figures, finishing with 11 points, while Jared Terrell came off the bench to score 10 points.
Timberwolves 100, Bucks 91
The Wolves made it three wins in a row by knocking off the Bucks in a back-and-forth game. This game was a total team effort by Minnesota with seven players scoring at least 10 points. Mitchell Creek emerged as the team’s leading scorer in this game with 18 points, while Bates-Diop and Okogie remained steady with 14 and 10 points, respectively. Meanwhile, Jordan McLaughlin scored 14 points of his own and Kelan Martin gave a great effort off the bench, tallying 15 points and nine rebounds. It turned out to be one of Minnesota’s most balanced performances of the summer.
Timberwolves 89, Heat 87
Minnesota closed out a perfect 4-0 pre-playoffs record with a close win over the Heat. Once again, Bates-Diop and Okogie paced the team, continuing their impressive consistency over the summer. But it was McLaughlin who led the way with 17 points on 7 of 12 shooting. Reid also stepped up with his best performance of the summer, registering a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds, in addition to dishing out four assists. Once again, a strong team balance made all the difference for the Wolves, as all five starters scored in double figures. With this win, the Timberwolves were just one of three teams to finish the week undefeated.
Timberwolves 108, Mavericks 82 (Quarterfinals)
The Wolves Summer League quarterfinals turned out to be a breeze. Minnesota pulled away in the 3rd quarter, ultimately winning by a 26-point margin. This time, Bates-Diop and Okogie were almost non-factors, combining for just four points. But that didn’t stop the Wolves from still having five players in double figures. Martin put on a shooting clinic, connecting on five of his nine 3-point attempts and scoring 23 points to lead the way. Creek, Reid, and Jordan Murphy all had a dozen points while Barry Brown Jr. came off the bench to score 14 points and make his first meaningful contributions of the summer.
Timberwolves 85, Nets 77 (Semifinals)
The Wolves Summer League hot streak continued in the semifinals, despite getting challenged by the Nets. The Wolves did most of their damage in this game inside, as Reid scored 20 points and grabbed six rebounds. Outside of Creek, the team’s shooting was poor, as Bates-Diop scored only five points. However, Murphy and Tyus Battle both came off the bench to score nine points apiece, with Battle doing so in just seven minutes of action. Those contributions helped push the Timberwolves past the Nets and into the Summer League finals.
Grizzlies 95, Timberwolves 92 (Finals)
Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be for the Wolves, who fell to the Grizzlies in the finals. However, you can’t fault Minnesota’s fight in this game. They trailed by 16 at halftime but dominated the second half to get themselves back in the game. And once again, the bench stepped up for the Timberwolves. Brown, Murphy, and Martin all scored at least 12 points despite starting the game on the bench. Martin led the way with 19 points, although he missed a shot late in the game that could have forced overtime. However, the Timberwolves can still hold their heads high after being one of the most impressive teams at the Las Vegas NBA Summer League.