Timberwolves’ Jimmy Butler on 3-point defense of Rockets
The Minnesota Timberwolves rebounded admirably from an 0-2 hole to start the first-round series against the Houston Rockets, looking like a revamped team after carving a 121-105 win in Game 3.
Led by Jimmy Butler’s 28 points and a monster glass-cleaning night for Karl-Anthony Towns, the Wolves finally managed a way to slow down the Rockets, moving the ball more efficiently and making as many threes as they did.
“I think we just made more threes last game, so it made it look like we guarded the three-point line a little better,” said a joking Butler, according to Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “It always helps to make shots, obviously.”
The Wolves made 15 of their 27 attempts from distance (55.6 percent) — a much more effective sum than the Rockets’ 15-of-41 prowess from deep (36.6 percent).
Altogether with a game-high 29 assists, Butler and his teammates were able to benefit from a more even scoring assault from the starting lineup, which accounted for 91 of the team’s points.
Andrew Wiggins, Jeff Teague, and Butler all scored 20 or more points, while Towns followed closely with 18 of his own, putting an end to a horrid two-game stretch in single digits.
The energy was also much more noticeable with the help of a very engaged crowd, happy to see its team win the first playoff game in 14 years — a spirit they’ll hope to carry for a pivotal Game 4 to even up the series.