After building a big lead in the first half, the Minnesota Timberwolves crumbled on Wednesday night, blowing a big lead and losing their composure in a 134-122 loss to the Atlanta Hawks.
The Timberwolves flew into Atlanta coming off a physical victory over the New York Knicks on Tuesday night. While Minnesota was looking for a three-game winning streak, the Hawks were 6-15 in their last 21 games and had lost 10 of their last 11 at home.
Potentially fueled by an adrenaline rush, the Timberwolves started the game on fire. D'Angelo Russell was particularly spicy, putting up 16 points in the first half to help Minnesota build a 16-point lead.
Minnesota held Trae Young held to seven points in the first half helping the Timberwolves go into halftime with a 73-61 lead. But the Hawks star erupted to led a 20-2 run and put up 23 of his 37 points in the third quarter.
With the game slipping away, frustration got the best of the Timberwolves. It started with Edwards driving to the rim and drawing contact with Onyeka Okongwu late in the third quarter. After confronting the referee, Edwards picked up two technical fouls of the night and was ejected.
Things got even more heated at the end of the third quarter when Karl-Anthony Towns kicked his leg at Okongwu on a shot that beat the buzzer. After a review, the basket was nullified and Towns was assessed a flagrant foul.
With Patrick Beverley ruled out due to an ankle injury, the Timberwolves dropped the back end of a back-to-back. The loss extended an NBA-record losing streak that has seen Minnesota drop 28 straight games with a chance to sweep a back-to-back on the road.
The Timberwolves (22-23) will return home on Sunday night when they host the Brooklyn Nets.