The Minnesota Timberwolves' game with the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday had an opening night feel as Minnesota welcomed seven players that were acquired during a busy trade deadline.
The moves were expected to provide energy, but nobody could see them having such a positive effect as the Timberwolves drilled a franchise-record 26 three-pointers in a 142-115 victory to snap a 13-game losing streak.
The game was an official kickoff to an almost entirely new Timberwolves roster as the team introduced everyone before giving the mic to D'Angelo Russell. The new acquisition thanked the fans for the warm welcome to Minnesota before imploring the crowd to "Keep that s--- goin."
Perhaps the Timberwolves thought Russell was talking to them as Minnesota went 9-for-14 from three-point range in the first quarter while taking a 40-31 lead. They didn't stop in the second quarter as Malik Beasley set a new career-high with six of his seven three-pointers in the first half to help the Wolves take an 81-57 lead into halftime.
The 81 points were a franchise record for most points in a half, eclipsing the previous record of 74 which had been set on two previous occasions. The record set the stage for a strong third quarter, which was highlighted by a thunderous jam by Jordan McLaughlin, who shined for a career-high 24 points in his first NBA start.
Another positive for the Wolves was the performance of Karl-Anthony Towns. After declaring he was running out of patience after a loss to Atlanta earlier this week, Towns looked re-energized while just missing a triple-double with 22 points, 12 rebounds, and nine assists.
With all the positives, the Wolves cruised to victory and left plenty of optimism for when Russell recovers from his quadriceps contusion. The Wolves will try to heed Russell's advice on Monday when they head to Toronto to take on the Raptors, who currently own a 14-game winning streak.