Alexander Shun | @alexpshun
Digital Content Manager | KFAN.com
At the end of the third quarter the game was tied and it appeared as though an upset was possible. That is until LeBron James and the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers pulled away from Andrew Wiggins and the Minnesota Timberwolves, sending them to their 35th loss of the season, a 116-108 defeat.
The loss was Wiggins' sixth career loss to the Cavaliers and the Timberwolves star forward now sits at 0-6 for his career against the Cavaliers, the team that originally drafted him back in 2014.
"We'll get em eventually," Wiggins said, speaking about his 0-6 career record against the Cavaliers. "It's always competitive playing them. I feel like it brings out the best in everybody."
It certainly brought out the best in Wiggins on Tuesday night as the third-year pro finished with 41 points, three rebounds and two assists in the loss, including an incredible 20-point performance in the third quarter that was capped-off by a buzzer beater to tie the game.
Trailing 93-88, Wiggins drilled a long three-pointer to cut Cleveland's lead to 93-91 with just a few seconds remaining in the quarter. After an errant Cleveland pass wound up in Minnesota's possession, Rubio found Wiggins who calmly pulled up, with his toe just barely touching the three-point line, and drilled the very long two at the buzzer to tie the game at 93.
"I was just trying to compete," Wiggins said after the game, speaking on his third quarter performance. "I was just trying to win the game."
Unfortunately his effort was just not enough.
Karl-Anthony Towns added 26 points, eight rebounds and four assists while Ricky Rubio added just five points but dished out 16 assists, grabbed eight rebounds and snagged two steals.
"They're a great team," Rubio said of the Cavaliers. "They’re a great team. We played really good for most parts of the game, I think we were down three with two minutes left. We need to learn how to close out games. They’re one of the best teams in the league and we’ve got to believe.”
James led the Cavaliers with 25 points, eight rebounds and 14 assists and Kyrie Irving added 25 points of his own while handing out seven assists.
Channing Frye, who got the start in place of the injured All-Star Kevin Love, finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds in Cleveland's win.
For the Timberwolves, they must recover quickly as they now head to Denver to take on the Nuggets in their final game before the All-Star break.