MILWAUKEE – The teams will deliver clunkers. They will stagnate offensively. They are going to lose games that they should win. Even the best teams sometimes do it throughout an 82-game season.
But then they respond.
That’s why Wednesday’s contest in Milwaukee was so intriguing. Minnesota delivered two disappointing performances in their two home games against New Orleans, including a loss on Monday.
It was not a rarity for this franchise. Minnesota has looked success in the face, turned the other way, and instead embraced failure on several occasions. And he had rarely answered.
This is what made the consequences of Monday’s loss different. With Anthony Edwards calling himself and others at a Tuesday practice described as ‘testable’ by Timberwolves coach Chris Finch as the players clashed, they were all answers from a team that did not want to settle for a lack of success.
Minnesota expected everything to result in the floor on Wednesday.
And he did.
Wolves went on the road and knocked out the defending champions 113-108.
It was Minnesota’s first win at Milwaukee since 2013, and it ended Wolves’ seven-game losing streak against the Bucks.
Minnesota’s big three, Edwards, Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell, totaled 79 points.
Russell tackled Milwaukee’s pick-and-roll defense early on, which allowed him to feast on one midrange open jumper after another. He finished with 29 points.
Milwaukee is playing centerless at the moment, which has saved Towns from having to hit low against another big one. It left the cities cooler, calmer and more united. This was key for the big man to deliver an efficient and dominant performance, where the star totaled 25 points on a 9-for-13 shot.
Anthony Edwards scored 25 points. It wasn’t the most efficient, with the second-year star passing 9 for 24 from the ground. But he closed for Wolves down the stretch. Milwaukee reduced Wolves’ 20-point deficit to a 2-point game late. Edwards responded by attacking Khris Middleton off the rebound and scoring while fouled.
On the next possession, Edwards made two free throws to freeze the game.
Milwaukee is not complete. The defending champions are currently without starters Jrue Holiday and Brook Lopez. Still, it’s a big win for Wolves and a massive response to the first sign of adversity.