There are plenty of adjectives that could be used to describe the Timberwolves exhibition loss to CSKA Moscow. Starting and ending with disappointing will suffice. The Wolves fell 108-106 in overtime at Target Center in front of a little more than 9,000 fans.
Head coach Rick Adelman called the performance by his starters lifeless with no energy and it showed. The Wolves were outscored 25-17 in the first quarter and shot just six-for 22 from the field in the opening stanza. Milos Teodosic and Nenad Kristic led the way for Moscow with seven points each in the opening frame. The Wolves made a 12-2 run late in the second quarter to cut the Moscow lead to three. New Wolves guard Kevin Martin scored 13 first half points.
"It's a good team we played," said Adelman. "They executed their stuff and we didn't defend the ball well enough.
The visitors shot the ball well all night finishing the game shooting nearly 53 percent from the field and used a 24-19 third quarter to create enough separation. Defensively, the Wolves struggled with the constant basket cuts and quick ball rotation employed by the visitors.
Derrick Williams put the team on his back in the second half finishing with a team high 21 points, but had two opportunities where he tried for a one handed dunk on offensive rebounds that missed the mark. Those points proved to be costly.
It was a continuous meltdown that included bad shot selections, defensive breakdowns and an unexplainable foul by Alexey Shved. The Wolves took a two point lead with seven seconds left when Shved fouled Tedosic in the back court giving the games leading scorer two free throws which he made to tie the game and force overtime. Despite opportunities by the Wolves to win in regulation and tie in overtime, CSKA closed the game out.
Martin finished with 16 points, AJ Price added 14 off the bench while Ricky Rubio added 10 and Kevin Love scored nine points on 3-for-8 shooting including 0-3 from three point range.
The Wolves travel to play Toronoto on Wednesday night, then head to Sioux Falls to face Milwaukee on Thursday night.