Blues lose top three early

Blues lose top three early

Dirk Nowitzki won the NBA’s MVP in 1997 and 2002, and that year the Wolves were 8-5 in the first quarter of games.

Their second-half surge was stifled when the Suns had a 20-3 lead. But the Wolves scored seven unanswered points and ran their lead up to 31 with 11 minutes remaining.

“I thought that maybe they went in this (with a) defensive strategy that we hadn’t seen in so long,” said Nowitzki, who was on the bench in the third quarter. “You don’t see it (often). I thought the defensive strategy (allowed us to get) a chance.”

After the Suns outscored the Wolves 34-23 in the third quarter, Phoenix got a 16-2 run to get within 60-55 with about 4:40 left in the quarter. The Wolves responded with 12 points, capped by two 3-pointers by Mike Conley for a 75-57 lead with 4:30 remaining.

Conley followed with a basket, then Chris Wilcox scored to push the lead to 76-57. Brandon Knight missed a jumper and Enes Kanter missed his first career 3-pointer with 1:47 left. The Wolves got the rebound and followed with a 10-2 run to start the fourth quarter, where they ended up winning 84-69.

“I think their style of play allowed us a little bit of freedom with the ball,” Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau said. “They just threw it all over the court.”

Conley had an eight-point, 10-rebound game in the second quarter, and the Suns’ Zac24 시 출장h Randolph added four points. But the Wolves were outrebounded 51-35 in the period.

Starter Goran Dra룰렛gic made a jumper at the buzzer and Karl-Anthony Towns scored 27 for the Wolves, who were led by seven different players (Bojan Bogdanovic, Zach LaVine, Rubio, Enes Kanter, Brandon Knight, Brandon Rush, Ryan Hollins and Eric Bledsoe) on their way to a 75-54 win over the second-place Pelicans on Sunday afternoon.

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