Gorgui Dieng thought game vs. Kings was going to 3OT after Buddy Hield miss
Gorgui Dieng was about ready for an extra five minutes of basketball, blissfully unaware of the score as Buddy Hiled missed a potential game-winning jumper against his struggling Minnesota Timberwolves. The Wolves snapped an 11-game losing skid on Thursday after beating the Sacramento Kings 105-104 in double overtime.
The Timberwolves built a six-point cushion midway through the second overtime, but Hield canned two big-time shots down the stretch to narrow the lead to one point, ultimately missing that last look to give the Wolves the win.
“I didn’t know the game was over,” Gorgui Dieng said through laughter, according to Chris Hine of The Minneapolis Star Tribune. “I thought the game was tied, I swear. I was like, ‘… We’re going to a third overtime. Then I saw everybody jumping from the bench and so I jumped.”
Dieng is not usually on this late in games, so it stands to reason why he was so unaware of the score. Usually, it’s franchise cornerstone Karl-Anthony Towns getting the minutes at center in crunch time, but that hasn’t kept the reserve from being useful.
The 6-foot-11 big man put up a season-high 21 points and 15 rebounds in 41 minutes, including two steals and a block for good measure, helping the Wolves get the monkey off their back.
“We needed this game bad,” said Andrew Wiggins, who struggled to hit only four of his 19 shot attempts. “Hopefully we ended the little slump. We can just go up from here.”
The game wasn’t pretty at all, the textbook definition of an ugly win as both teams shot an identically putrid 34.6% from the floor, forced to claw for an advantage.
Ugly as it may be, Gorgui Dieng and company will take the win however it comes, relieved to put the wide struggle behind them for good.