Andrew Wiggins is playing like everyone thought he could when the Cleveland Cavaliers took him No. 1 overall in the 2014 NBA Draft.
The still-25-year-old guard came up clutch Friday night, scoring 40 points in an epic duel against D'Angelo Russell and the Warriors to lead the Wolves to a 125-119 overtime victory at Target Center.
Russell was a monster, torching the Wolves for a career-high 52 points including 19 late in the fourth quarter and overtime. But it was Wiggins who answered all of Russell's blows, including the game-tying layup with 5.6 seconds left in regulation to help Minnesota force overtime, and later, the coffin-nailing 3-pointer with under 25 seconds left in overtime.
Golden State led 110-106 with 29 seconds to play in the fourth, but a pair of free throws by Karl-Anthony Towns and a forced jump ball by Robert Covington gave Minnesota the ball back and Wiggins made the Warriors pay with the tying layup.
Wiggins' monster game – he added five rebounds, seven assists and three blocks – came on a night when Towns got into foul trouble in the first half and despite finishing with 20 points, 14 rebounds and four assists, was far from the dominant force he usually is.
More importantly, without Jeff Teague (illness) and Shabazz Napier (hamstring), Wiggins handled the ball as a lead guard much of the game. He beat defenders off the dribble for scores, attacked the rim relentlessly – 22 of his 33 shot attempts were in the paint – kept his dribble alive and slithered around for open shots, and found his teammates clean for looks on perfectly executive drive-and-kicks.
After 45 minutes on the floor, Wiggins had zero turnovers and his seven assists turned into 17 points, according to Timberwolves.com's Kyle Ratke.
Minnesota is now 5-3 entering their next game, Sunday at 2:30 p.m. against the Denver Nuggets.