Published on January 29th, 2018 | by Landon Buford0
Hawks Win A Close One With The Timberwolves At Home
Philips Arena, Atlanta – The Hawks put a complete game together and beat the Timberwolves 105-100 Monday night at Philips Arena in front of a crowd of 12,589.
Jeff Teague threw the ball right to Hawks’ guard Malcolm Delaney with 37 seconds left in the game, and the Timberwolves were down one and looking for the win.
Atlanta Kent Bazemore scored on a layup that gave the Hawks a 101-98 lead with 1:13 in regulation and was fouled, then missed the free throw from the charity stripe.
With a little over a minute left in the game, the Hawks and the Timberwolves had opportunities to put the game away with shots on the perimeter but failed to convert.
The final six minutes of the game were armed with a myriad of mistakes by Minnesota; the Timberwolves committed consecutive technical fouls, missed a free throw, and was called for an inbounds violation when Jeff Teague failed to get the ball to his teammates with 14.5 seconds left in the game.
In final seconds it seemed like the Timberwolves forgot how to get the ball into play because forward Taj Gibson had the same issue 11 seconds later when he crashed the boards and snatched a Jimmy Butler miss then scored while he was fouled.
Gibson missed the free throw which kept Minnesota behind 101-100 with a few ticks on the clock.
“It felt like we could have put them away in that third quarter. We just didn’t get it done. When you give a team like that confidence late in the game, it gets scary. They start hitting hard, tough shots. Minnesota Timberwolves Taj Gibson said.
Minnesota led 82-76 early in the fourth quarter, but the Hawks used an 11-2 run that included two goaltending calls against New Jersey native Karl-Anthony Towns to take an 87-84 lead with less than 7 minutes remaining in regulation.
“We didn’t finish the third well, didn’t start the fourth well.That was probably the game, and the rebounding was a problem all night. It was a compilation of things, but it started at the end of the third.” Minnesota Timberwolves Tom Thibodeau said.
The Timberwolves led 32-27 after a tight quarter and by six points early in the second quarter before the Hawks’sprinted out to 14-2 run brought them from behind and into a 49-44 lead after Mike Muscala made a three-pointer from way yonder with 4:20 left before the break.
The feisty Timberwolves responded with a 12-2 run of their own and led 58-53 just before halftime before Dennis Schroder ended the first-half scoring by making a pair of free throws with 1.2 seconds left before the break.
Atlanta is last in league with a 14-35 record, but they had beaten their last five Western Conference opponents at home, dating back to a Dec. 23 win over the Mavericks.
“Probably more coincidental than anything,” Budenholzer said. “I had no idea that was the case. It’d be great to beat an Eastern Conference team, too. We play a lot of them. I wouldn’t begin to give you an explanation why.”
Atlanta came out to play tonight; they play with more of a sense of urgency, passion, and energy. If the Hawks come to play with the same level of intensity every night, they will be a force to be reckon with.