The Minnesota Timberwolves haven’t given their fans much to cheer about this season. In fact, the Timberwolves entered Tuesday’s game against the Pacers with a 6-30 record and a 15-game losing streak.
That all ended in Indianapolis.
Minnesota point guard Mo Williams scored a career-high 52 points – the highest in the league this season – to lead the Timberwolves to a 110-101 win.
“That’s probably the best (game I’ve ever) had,” Williams said on Ferrall on the Bench. “I had a 44 and 43 two years back, but I would say this was pretty special.”
Williams shot 19-of-33 from the field, 6-of-11 from three-point range, 8-of-9 from the line and had four rebounds and seven assists in 44 minutes.
The Pacers didn’t know what hit them.
Rookie Andrew Wiggins added 20 points on 7-of-16 shooting, which means Williams and Wiggins had 72 points combined.
“He’s going to be pretty special,” Williams said of Wiggins. “We needed that win.”
Just how dominant was Williams? He scored as many points as Indiana’s top three scorers combined (C.J. Miles, 22 points; C.J. Watson, 17 points; and Rodney Stuckey, 13 points).
“Well, I had to be aggressive,” Williams said. “And one thing Kevin Martin kept telling me before the game was, ‘We’re going to need you to score today. We’re going to need you to score today.’ He just kept saying it. So I got to credit him for me being aggressive from the get go.”
Williams’ 52 points surpassed the previous NBA season high of 46 scored by Carmelo Anthony and Pau Gasol. It also set the Timberwolves’ franchise record; the previous mark was 51, shared by Corey Brewer (2014) and Kevin Love (2012).
With the win, Minnesota avoided its first 16-game skid since 2010. Minnesota hadn’t won since a 90-82 home win against Portland on Dec. 10. Eight of the 15 losses were by double digits.
“It was refreshing to get a win,” Williams said. “A lot of guys have big games and don’t get the win. I think the most important thing was that we got (the win and ended the skid). A 15-game losing streak – it was just (that) a different feeling in the locker room was needed. We’ve been going hard, practicing hard and not seeing the results on the win column. It’s good to get a win.”
Minnesota (6-31) ranks 20th in the NBA in scoring offense (98.5 points per game), 30th in scoring defense (108.1 points per game) and 27th in rebounding (40.9 per game).
Williams, who is averaging 12.4 points per game, is one of the Timberwolves leading scorers, along with Wiggins (14.7), Shabazz Muhammad (13.7) and Thaddeus Young (13.3).
Tuesday marked the beginning of a four-game, seven-day road trip for Minnesota, which next plays at Phoenix (23-18) on Jan. 16, at Denver (17-20) on Jan. 17 and at Charlotte (15-24) on Jan. 19. The Timberwolves return home for a game against Dallas (27-12) on Jan. 21.