The Minnesota Timberwolves have made a habit out of playing their best basketball in the first two quarters which held true to form against the Boston Celtics who go into the half trailing the Timberwolves 52-42.
Minnesota, the NBA’s highest-scoring team in the first half of games, jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead only for the Celtics to respond with a 7-0 run of their own to tie the game up.
Boston led 23-21 after one quarter of play.
The Celtics went ahead by as many seven points (31-24) but the Timberwolves bounced back with an 13-2 run to lead 37-33.
Boston scored five of the game’s next six points to tie the score at 38 apiece which was as close as the game would be for the remainder of the half.
But the Celtics can take some solace in the fact that the Timberwolves have been among the NBA’s worst teams when it comes to second half scoring which includes them averaging an NBA-worst 19.3 points scored in the third quarter while the Celtics’ 25.1 points in the third ranks 16th in the league.
Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from the first half of Monday’s game.
The Big K.A.T. was a handful for the Boston Celtics in the first half, causing havoc around the rim throughout the first half. He had a near double-double with 16 points and eight rebounds.
It was another strong showing for Horford, who continues to deliver for the Celtics. At the half he was Boston’s only double-figure scorer with 10 points.
Thomas hasn’t really put his imprint on tonight’s game, but still had a solid first half. He had nine points on 4-for-8 shooting with two assists and zero turnovers.
His size and physical play around the rim was a huge plus for the Timberwolves. He had 12 points at the half along with six rebounds.
Timberwolves’ inside scoring
Minnesota has great size and strength in its frontcourt, and that was on display in the first half. The Timberwolves dominated scoring around the rim with a decisive 34-12 advantage when it came to points in the paint.
It was rough half for the 6-foot-2 guard, missing two of his three shot attempts to go into the half with just five points. Just as telling about his struggles was his plus/minus being -11 which was the worst by a Celtic in the first half.