Wolves Win Two Straight, Go to Summer League Quarter-Finals
LAS VEGAS -- After going 0-3 in seeding play, the Minnesota Timberwolves summer league team has found itself in two straight victories to start the Summer League Tournament.
For both games, the Wolves were without first rounder Kris Dunn as he was out with a concussion once again. However, in their 80-71 victory over the San Antonio Spurs Wednesday, they didn't need his offensive contributions, as they were led by center Adreian Payne and his 20 points, Tyus Jones and his 15, and surprise bench contributor Coty Clarke who finished with 16, and yesterday they got a big game from Tyus Jones to lead them to a 89-85 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies
The Wolves started out strong once again in this game as they scored 28 points in the first quarter to take a nine point lead that they would never relinquish. During the quarter the Wolves jumped out to two separate 10 point leads, as Clarke, Torre Murry, and Xavier Silas carried them offensively for the final 5 minutes of the quarter.
The second quarter was much closer as the teams were only separated by two points. The Wolves jumped out to a 16 point lead through three minutes as they went on a 7-0 run to start the quarter. The Spurs led by Jonathon Simmons, after the decision to sit Kyle Anderson the rest of Summer League, brought the game to within 11 by the end of the quarter, as the Wolves had a 47-36 lead going into the half.
The Wolves continued to play well into the third as they maintained and grew their lead to 14 to end the quarter.
However, the fourth was once again trouble for the Wolves.
The Wolves in the quarter only scored nine points and they allowed 14 which luckily for them wasn't enough to close the 14 point deficit. Midway through the quarter, the Spurs went on a 10-0 run to bring the deficit to seven at 76-69, but then Adreian Payne made key shots on two straight possessions, scoring on a tip dunk, and then on a jumper off a pass from Jones to give him 20 points and give Jones his ninth assist.
Following Payne's jumper Simmons made one of his own to make the game 80-71 but that would be it as both teams were scoreless over the final 2:30 giving the Wolves their first win and allowing them to advance to the quarterfinals.
Adreian Payne had his best game to date as he scored 20 points with seven rebounds, two assists, two blocks and a steal. Jones added 15 and 9, going 3-6 from long range, while only turning over the ball once as the team had only eight turnovers in the game.
Jonathon Simmons led the Spurs in scoring with 19 and rookie Dejounte Murray added 14.
The Wolves started strong for the second straight game, but for the first time all Summer League they also finished strong winning the fourth quarter by one point 30-29.
The Wolves were carried offensively by Tyus Jones who scored 26 points and dealt 10 assists, as Coty Clarke had another good offensive performance, scoring 15.
The Wolves got down early on in the first quarter but then Tyus Jones went to work scoring five points in the quarter but more importantly assisting on four shots, including two threes to carry a 22-19 lead into the second quarter.
In the second, the Wolves kept playing good basketball, as Jones added another five points, but the other 15 of 20 for the quarter were scored by six other players to give the Wolves a 42-37 lead going into halftime.
The third quarter was the only quarter the Wolves lost 19-17, as the Grizzlies tied things up at 56 with a minute remaining. However Torre Murry got an and-one with 1.7 seconds to go to give the Wolves a three point lead once again.
The fourth quarter brought a back and forth contest, as Memphis took the lead, 71-69 with 5:43 left to go, but the Wolves fought back and held on to get their four-point victory. Jones scored 11 of his 26 in the quarter and after Levi Randolph hit a three pointer, three of 26 points on the night, to bring it to a three point game with 4.3 left, Xavier Silas hit one of two free throws to ice the game.
For the Grizzlies, out side of Randolph, Andrew Harrison added 16 points.
The Wolves will be playing the Toronto Raptors in the Quarter Finals tomorrow as the Wolves look to take revenge after an 82-80 loss to the Raptors earlier in Summer League.