When a team forces 30 turnovers in basketball, odds are good that said team would win the game handily no matter what level they are playing at. While the Minnesota Timberwolves turned in a tremendous effort on the defensive end on Saturday night, they wound up on the wrong end of this trivia question as they flustered the Cleveland Cavaliers, but still managed to lose by a score of 94-88.
In fairness, things didn't look so good for Minnesota from the beginning as Karl-Anthony Towns missed his sixth straight game with a knee injury and Andrew Wiggins sat out with flu-like symptoms. With their two best players on the shelf, the Cavaliers recovered after allowing the opening basket of the game to hold onto the lead throughout the evening.
That's where the turnovers came into play for the Wolves as Cleveland's 30 turnovers were a season-high in the NBA this season. Minnesota also enjoyed a solid night from their bench. Jeff Teague scored a game-high 18 points for the Wolves off the pine and Kelan Martin also chipped in 17 points and six rebounds.
While the effort from the bench was a nice touch, the Timberwolves couldn't find enough offense to help out their tremendous defense on the opposite end. The Wolves shot 8-for-36 from three-point range on the night and were outrebounded by Cleveland by a 61-39 margin including 15 rebounds from Tristan Thompson.
With the Timberwolves sorely missing their two stars, they would stay in the game thanks to the previously mentioned turnovers and take a brief lead in the fourth quarter. However, the huge rebounding margin and a strong night by former Wolves draft target Darius Garland (who finished with a plus/minus of +11), helped hand Minnesota another loss at home.
The Timberwolves fall to just 3-10 at Target Center this season, which is tied with the Atlanta Hawks (3-12) for the fewest home wins in the NBA. Minnesota has also lost nine straight home games and hasn't won in front of their home fans since defeating the San Antonio Spurs on Nov. 13.
Minnesota (11-19) will get another chance to solve their home woes on Monday night when the Wolves host the Brooklyn Nets.