Coming off the lowest-scoring fourth quarter in franchise history, the Minnesota Timberwolves could use a home matchup against a team its hasn’t lost to there in nearly a decade.
The Timberwolves go for their eighth straight win at the Target Center over the Milwaukee Bucks when the teams close out their regular-season series on Friday.
Minnesota (10-12) held a 10-point lead over the Los Angeles Lakers heading into the fourth-quarter Wednesday, but were outscored 34-7 in the final 12 minutes en route to a 111-94 loss. The Timberwolves shot 62 percent from the field through the first three quarters, but just 10.5 percent (2 for 19) after that.
“When you walk on the floor, you’ve got to be ready to produce,” Timberwolves coach Dwane Casey said. “The second unit has done it before. They’ve pulled us out of a lot of desperate situations. But (Wednesday), for some reason, we just couldn’t get it clicking.”
Garnett expressed his frustration with the team’s inability to stop the collapse.
“We can’t keep depending on our coaches to make decisions,” said Garnett, who finished with 22 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists. “We’ve got to use our IQs and our basketball knowledge to figure things out and maybe call timeouts and maybe go to a zone.”
The Timberwolves are now trying to avoid a season high-tying four-game losing streak. They haven’t dropped a home game to the Bucks (11-14) since March 28, 1999, winning seven straight by an average of 10.3 points per game.
Milwaukee took the first meeting between these teams on Saturday, though, beating Minnesota 108-104. The Bucks’ Charlie Bell stole a pass from Garnett in the final minute leading to a three-point play that sealed the game for Milwaukee.
Redd scored 28 and Williams recorded his first career triple-double with 19 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.
“It’s just like having your first child,” Williams said.
The Bucks’ point guard led the team to its highest point total of the season, which was highlighted by a season-high 63.6 percent (14 of 22) shooting from beyond the arc.
“Offensively, we got rolling and made some shots, but I didn’t think we let up defensively, which was key,” said Bucks coach Terry Stotts, whose squad improved to 7-2 when holding an opponent under 100 points
The Bucks will try to continue that success on the road where they are just 4-10 this season, including a season-high four straight losses.