MINNEAPOLIS: Throughout this disjointed start to the season, Mike Brown has reiterated this team is a work in progress and games will sometimes serve as practices.
There was no progress during Wednesday’s beatdown at the Minnesota Timberwolves, but the Cavs obviously need plenty of more practice following the most embarrassing loss of the season.
The Cavs were hammered inside and in transition and had no answer for either Kevin Love, Corey Brewer or Ricky Rubio in a 124-95 mauling at Target Center. It was the most points the Cavs surrendered in nearly a year on a night the Timberwolves were playing without second-leading scorer Kevin Martin, who missed the game with flu-like symptoms. But the Cavs left the arena nauseous.
Love had 33 points, Brewer fell a basket shy of his career high with 27 points and Rubio had 16 points and a career-high 16 assists in a complete dismantling of the Cavs. A jumper from Derrick Williams with 10:15 left gave the Wolves a 115-76 lead, their largest of the night.
The Timberwolves outrebounded the Cavs 49-37, outscored them in the lane 556-32 and smashed them in transition 29-6.
Brown yanked his starters by the end of the third quarter and cleared his bench for the fourth in a game that was never close.
The Cavs fell behinid 37-24 after the first quarter and 70-47 at the half. The 37 points allowed tied for the most they’ve surrendered in a quarter this year and the 70 were easily the most in a half. The previous high was 55 against these same Timberwolves at home nine days earlier.
They were outscored 22-0 in fast-break points in the first half and 34-12 in the lane. Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao both had chances defending Kevin Love, but neither was very effective.
When Anthony Bennett blew an open layup midway through the second quarter, the Wolves scored in transition easily. Then Bennett’s inbound pass was stolen by Corey Brewer and converted for another easy layup. A driving layup from Ricky Rubio followed moments later and the Wolves had a 57-31 lead, their largest of the half.
Kyrie Irving had 20 points, Varejao had 13 points and Tristan Thompson had 10 points and six rebounds. Sergey Karasev had seven points and four rebounds during garbage time in the third and fourth quarters.