basketball | nba

Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Milwaukee Bucks Pick & Prediction FEB 23TH 2021

FinishedTV: FOX | FSN | NBALPWisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center Milwaukee

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Minnesota vs. Milwaukee Recap FEB 23TH 2021

Khris Middleton scored 28 points, and Giannis Antetokounmpo added 27 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists on Saturday night as the Milwaukee Bucks won for the 16th time in their last 18 games, beating the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves 140-128.

The Bucks got off to a fast start en route to reaching 140 points for the fourth time this season. Antetokounmpo drove the lane for a dunk 14 seconds into the game and had 11 points in the opening 3:09.

Milwaukee went on to its fourth consecutive victory and second in a row since the All-Star break.

Derrick Rose scored 23 points, and Taj Gibson added 20 for the Timberwolves, who saw their three-game winning streak come to an end.

Minnesota was playing without All-Star center Karl-Anthony Towns for the second consecutive game after the All-Star was in a car accident Thursday that left him with a concussion. Towns is day-to-day in advance of Monday's home game against the Sacramento Kings.

In a game where the offense flowed, the Bucks took a 35-32 lead after one quarter, but the Timberwolves worked their way back to take a 70-69 lead at halftime on a floating jumper in the lane by Rose in the final seconds before the buzzer.

Minnesota stayed aggressive on offense, carrying a 109-107 lead into the final period in a game where both teams scored at least 32 points in each of the first three quarters.

It wasn't until early in the fourth quarter that the Bucks took control. They grabbed the lead for good at with a 9-0 run early in the final period, eventually extending the run to 18-2 for a 129-115 advantage.

Andrew Wiggins scored 18 points and Anthony Tolliver had 17 for Minnesota, going 5 of 7 from 3-point range. Tolliver also had a monstrous block of an Antetokounmpo dunk attempt. Josh Okogie had 14 points.

Brook Lopez had 19 points, and Nikola Mirotic added 17 in his second game with the Bucks after coming over in a trade from the New Orleans Pelicans. Malcolm Brogdon and Eric Bledsoe each had 16 for Milwaukee.

George Hill played just three minutes for the Bucks and did not return after the first quarter because of a left adductor strain.

The Bucks play eight of the next 10 games on the road. They are 20-9 away from home this season.

--Field Level Media

In-season coaching changes happen, but hiring a long-term replacement on the spot is rare.

The Minnesota Timberwolves did that late Sunday night when they fired coach Ryan Saunders following the team's 103-99 loss to the New York Knicks. The Timberwolves announced the hiring of Toronto Raptors assistant coach Chris Finch on Monday.

Finch, a first-time NBA head coach, will coach his first game with Minnesota against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks on Tuesday night in Milwaukee.

Finch, 51, began his NBA coaching career with the Houston Rockets where he spent five seasons as an assistant. Finch coached their G League team for two seasons during which he worked alongside Timberwolves president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas.

After a brief stint in Denver, Finch spent three seasons as an assistant with the Pelicans before joining the Raptors this season.

"Well, we hope that with this change, and we hope that (D'Angelo) Russell gets back, we can get a lot more wins and prepare ourselves not only for this year, but for the future," Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor told reporters late Sunday night.

Finch is ready to see if he can help turn around the fortunes of the franchise.

"I look forward to working hand and hand with Gersson to build and lead a team that Timberwolves fans will be proud of," Finch said. "We have excellent pieces in place and I can't wait to get to work."

Saunders, who originally took over as an interim coach during the 2018-19 season after Minnesota moved on from Tom Thibodeau, compiled a 43-94 record during his tenure.

The Wolves, who are off to a 7-24 start, have had both injury and COVID-19 issues affecting key players such as Karl-Anthony Towns and Russell this season, which Taylor said never allowed the team to make a proper evaluation.

Towns and Russell have played in only five games together this season; the former has missed 13 games due to COVID-19 and six because of a dislocated wrist. Towns is averaging 22 points, 11.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 11 games.

Russell has missed the past seven games after undergoing arthroscopic surgery to remove a loose body in his left knee and isn't expected back for at least another three to five weeks.

"(Rosas) made the decision, and Russell probably won't be back for a while," Taylor said. "I guess I was hoping he and Karl would be able to play together for a while, so we could make an evaluation. But that didn't work out."

Meanwhile, in Milwaukee, Antetokounmpo delivered another stellar performance on Sunday with 38 points (19-for-24 on free throws) and 18 rebounds to lead the Bucks to a 128-115 win over spiraling Sacramento.

Khris Middleton backed him up with 32 points as Milwaukee continues to pick up momentum with consecutive wins after losing five in a row.

"It felt good," Antetokounmpo said. "We were making the right plays. We were being aggressive. We were finding teammates. We've done this for eight years."

Jrue Holiday watched the game from the Bucks bench and will miss his ninth consecutive game Tuesday due to health and safety protocols. Jordan Nwora (left ankle sprain) will sit out for the 12th straight game.

Jaylen Adams has missed the past two games. According to local news reports, Adams was cited for disorderly conduct by Milwaukee police after an incident involving an altercation between him and an Uber driver Friday morning.

The Bucks later issued the following statement: "We are aware of the situation involving Jaylen Adams, and are in the process of gathering more information. We have spoken with Jaylen and will continue to have open communication with him."

--Field Level Media

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Last 10

W 10% L 90%
1 9
  • Phoenix L 118 - 99
  • @Washington L 112 - 128
  • @Chicago L 126 - 133
  • @Milwaukee L 112 - 139
  • @New York L 99 - 103
  • Toronto L 86 - 81
  • Indiana L 134 - 128
  • L.A. Lakers L 112 - 104
  • @Toronto W 116 - 112
  • @Charlotte L 114 - 120
W 50% L 50%
5 5
  • L.A. Clippers W 100 - 105
  • New Orleans W 125 - 129
  • Minnesota W 112 - 139
  • Sacramento W 115 - 128
  • Oklahoma City W 85 - 98
  • Toronto L 110 - 96
  • Toronto L 124 - 113
  • @Oklahoma City L 109 - 114
  • @Utah L 115 - 129
  • @Phoenix L 124 - 125

Next Games

  • Charlotte(12-05-18) W 104 - 121
  • Denver(11-19-18) W 98 - 104
  • @Memphis(08-13-20) L 106 - 119

Last Meetings

  • Timberwolves @ Bucks 112-139
  • Timberwolves @ Bucks 128-140
  • Bucks @ Timberwolves 125-95
  • Timberwolves @ Bucks 121-143
  • Bucks @ Timberwolves 125-107
  • Bucks @ Timberwolves 89-108
  • Timberwolves @ Bucks 96-102
  • Timberwolves @ Bucks 95-102
  • Bucks @ Timberwolves 99-116
  • Timberwolves @ Bucks 101-116

Eastern Conference

Philadelphia 76ers2312.657 15-38-9114.2110.8L15-0-5
Brooklyn Nets2313.639 13-610-7120.8116.2L19-0-1
New York Knicks1817.514 10-78-10105.0104.0L17-0-3
Boston Celtics1717.500 10-57-12110.9110.4L34-0-6
Toronto Raptors1717.500 8-79-10112.9110.4L26-0-4
Milwaukee Bucks2113.618 14-47-9119.6112.1L55-0-5
Indiana Pacers1518.455 7-108-8113.0112.6L43-0-7
Chicago Bulls1518.455 7-118-7114.6114.9L26-0-4
Cleveland Cavaliers1321.382 9-94-12104.5112.6L103-0-7
Detroit Pistons925.265 6-103-15107.5112.0L33-0-7

Western Conference

Utah Jazz278.771 15-212-6116.4107.1L17-0-3
Denver Nuggets1915.559 9-710-8115.6111.2L16-0-4
Portland Trail Blazers1814.563 8-610-8114.2115.2L46-0-4
Oklahoma City Thunder1420.412 6-118-9106.7112.4L14-0-6
Minnesota Timberwolves728.200 4-123-16108.1116.5L81-0-9
Los Angeles Lakers2411.686 11-713-4111.3105.6L45-0-5
Los Angeles Clippers2412.667 12-612-6114.9109.0L16-0-4
Phoenix Suns2211.667 11-611-5113.4107.5L18-0-2
Golden State Warriors1916.543 12-67-10114.0112.8L16-0-4
Sacramento Kings1321.382 7-126-9114.4120.3L11-0-9

Eastern Conference

Miami Heat1717.500 10-77-10107.7109.3L37-0-3
Charlotte Hornets1617.485 9-87-9112.1113.2L16-0-4
Atlanta Hawks1420.412 8-96-11113.1113.1L23-0-7
Washington Wizards1319.406 6-97-10114.8119.0L17-0-3
Orlando Magic1322.371 8-115-11105.4112.1L44-0-6

Western Conference

San Antonio Spurs1713.567 8-99-4111.0111.7L16-0-4
Dallas Mavericks1716.515 8-89-8112.5113.4L18-0-2
Memphis Grizzlies1515.500 7-108-5111.2110.7L15-0-5
New Orleans Pelicans1519.441 10-75-12115.9115.9L24-0-6
Houston Rockets1121.344 5-86-13107.9112.6L111-0-10

Last Injuries

Milwaukee Bucks

  • Jaylen Adams

    Out indefinitely | out

    Adams is going through the NBA's health and safety protocols, and it is uncertain when he will be cleared by the team to rejoin the lineup.

  • Jordan Nwora

    Out indefinitely | out

    Nwora is out of the lineup with a left ankle sprain, and he will miss an undetermined length of time.

  • Jrue Holiday

    Ques Sun | questionable

    Holiday has cleared the NBA's health and safety protocols, but it is unknown if he will return against the Clippers on Sunday.

  • Bobby Portis

    Prob Thurs | probable

    Portis suffered a left elbow laceration in the previous game, but he is likely to be in the line up Thursday versus the Pelicans.

Minnesota Timberwolves

  • Malik Beasley

    Elig March 27 | out

    Beasley has received a 12 game suspension due to an off-court incident, and he is eligible to return versus the Rockets on March 27.

  • Jarrett Culver

    Early March | out

    Culver is sidelined due to a left ankle sprain, and he is expected to miss at least two weeks of action.