The Timberwolves trailed the Rockets 62-48 at halftime and weren't playing good defense. The meeting worked, as Minnesota came back and won the game to win their first game of the season when trailing by 10 or more points.
The Timberwolves outscored the Rockets by 26 points in the second half and held Houston to just nine points in the fourth quarter. It was a remarkable turnaround for the Timberwolves, who are now 12-12 on the season and 10-4 at home.
Taj Gibson acknowledged this afternoon that a players meeting happened at halftime last night because “guys weren’t doing their job.”
He also said that isn’t uncommon.
— Dane Moore (@DaneMooreNBA) December 4, 2018
Despite being in foul trouble all game, Timberwolves All-Star big man Karl-Anthony Towns finished with 24 points and 11 rebounds. There was a Andrew Wiggins sighting as well, as the former No. 1 overall pick had 16 points and played some really good defense as well. Taj Gibson was his usual productive self, scoring 15 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.
Robert Covington registered 13 points and had some amazing defensive plays in this one that really turned the game around for the Timberwolves. Minnesota has been one of the best defenses in the NBA since acquiring Covington from the Philadelphia 76ers in the Jimmy Butler trade.
The Rockets scored 38 points in the second quarter. The Timberwolves matched that with 38 points in the third quarter. Minnesota head coach Tom Thibodeau has to be pleased with how his team responded to the adversity of being down double-digits, something that hasn’t been the case so far this season.
What’s even more impressive is that Minnesota won this game with Derrick Rose not scoring a single point. The former MVP, who entered Monday averaging 19 points per game off the bench, only took four shots, as the Rockets were double-teaming him a lot.
Minnesota will look to make it two wins in a row on Wednesday when they host Kemba Walker and the Charlotte Hornets. If the Timberwolves can play elite defense like they did in the fourth quarter against the Rockets for 48 minutes every night, this is a team that can make some noise in the Western Conference.