After COVID-19 ran through their roster, the Minnesota Timberwolves were reunited on Wednesday night, picking up a 98-90 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Timberwolves came into the game optimistic as they had their full starting lineup for the first time since Dec. 15. According to Blue Wire Pods' Dane Moore, Minnesota's starting five has outscored their opponents by 53.3 points per 100 possessions, which is the highest margin in the NBA this season.
That played out early as the Timberwolves built a 21-point lead in the first quarter. Although they got off to a hot start, they cooled off in the second, shooting just 26.2 percent on the night from beyond the arc.
While Anthony Edwards (22 points), Karl-Anthony Towns (17 points, 16 rebounds) and Patrick Beverley (20 points, six assists) scored in double figures, a tough night from D'Angelo Russell (six points) left the Timberwolves needing help from their bench.
Jaylen Nowell was up for the task, making all six shots from the floor as part of a 16-point effort. Jayden McDaniels also chipped in with 11 points and helped Minnesota build a nine-point lead late in the fourth quarter.
Although a four-point play by Mike Muscala made things interesting, the starting five helped put the game away thanks to a clutch 3-pointer by Edwards.
The win was big for the Timberwolves (18-20), who kicked off a stretch where they'll play teams with a losing record in seven of their next 10 games. That includes another matchup with the Thunder in Oklahoma City on Friday night.