Minnesota Timberwolves Hang On To Defeat Atlanta Hawks In Wild Game
AP Photo/John Bazemore

Minnesota Timberwolves Hang On To Defeat Atlanta Hawks In Wild Game

The Minnesota Timberwolves led by 30 at halftime, but the Hawks erupted for 42 points in the third quarter to trim the lead to just 10 points but the young Wolves survived the comeback.

Stevie Larson

The Minnesota Timberwolves began a stretch of four games in five nights with a road matchup against the Atlanta Hawks, who at 7-1 are one of the better teams record wise in the NBA. The game was a tale of two halves, as Minnesota dominated the first half, but Atlanta came back and dominated the second half, mainly the third quarter.

The Wolves wasted no time, as they scored 72 points in the first half to take a 30-point lead into halftime over the heavily favored Hawks. The Wolves were led in the first half by 16 points from Andrew Wiggins, along with 13 points from Zach LaVine. In the first ha;f, the Hawks had no rebounds, while only managing 11 rebounds in the second half. The Timberwolves scored 42 points in the second quarter alone, which is tied for second most points scored in one quarter this season with the 42 that Atlanta put up in the third quarter of the game.

The second half was a completely different story, as the third quarter belonged to the Hawks, who outscored the Wolves 42-21 in the quarter to trim the lead to just 10 points. In the third quarter, the Hawks were led by Jeff Teague, who scored 14 points to go along with seven assists. 

The fourth quarter was a lot closer than Timberwolves fans would have wanted, as the Wolves slowly watched their lead shrink until the Hawks took the lead with under five minutes left in the game. The Wolves then got a run of their own, and rallied back to win the game by a final score of 117-107.

Wiggins, the reigning NBA rookie of the year, stayed hot in the second half, as he ended up leading both teams with 33 points in the game, which is also tied for his most in a single game in his young career.. Teague finished with 24 points for Atlanta, while teammate Paul Millsap put up 22 points, but it was not enough, as the Timberwolves narrowly held on for just their fourth win of the season.

The win gives the Timberwolves their first four-game road winning streak since 2009. Had the Timberwolves not been able to recover, it would have been their biggest blown lead since December of 2008 when they blew a 29-point lead to Dallas en route to losing that game.

It is a big win for a young team who will play their first two back to backs of the season this week, as they now get on a plane and travel back to Minnesota to play the Charlotte Hornets Tuesday night, before getting Wednesday off to prepare for another back to back, this time when they will host the Golden State Warriors, then travel to Indiana to face the Pacers.