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Andrew Wiggins goes glass at the buzzer for game-winning 3-pointer at OKC

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Minnesota Timberwolves guard Andrew Wiggins (22) shoots the game winning shot between Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams (12) and guard Alex Abrines (8) in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017. Minnesota won 115-113. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Andrew Wiggins (22) shoots the game winning shot between Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams (12) and guard Alex Abrines (8) in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017. Minnesota won 115-113. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Maybe that Andrew Wiggins guy will turn out to be worth every penny of his recently inked five-year, $148 million extension.

While most sports fans nationally were locked in to an NFL Sunday and those locally obsessed over the Kansas basketball team’s Border War exhibition victory, an off-the-radar NBA game between Minnesota and Oklahoma City showcased Wiggins’ still-bright longterm future.

Moments after the Thunder’s Carmelo Anthony hit a go-ahead 3-pointer, the T’wolves, scrambling with no timeouts to use, got the ball in bounds to Wiggins. One Karl-Anthony Towns back-court screen and four dribbles later, the 22-year-old Canadian wing was pulling up a good six feet behind the top of the arc to bank in the game-winner.

While you might call the successful buzzer-beater lucky, Wiggins did plenty leading up to the decisive shot to put his team in prime position for a valuable Western Conference road win.

The highlight-worthy 3 to beat the game clock to 0:00 capped a 27-point performance in which he shot 10-for-20 from the floor, grabbed seven rebounds, passed out four assists and came away with two steals. Wiggins’ 2-for-7 shooting from 3-point distance was the only part of his stat line that didn’t impress.

As for his second 3-point make that caught the rest of the league’s attention Sunday night, there is the matter of whether he called glass.

“No,” Wiggins told the Star Tribune. “I did not.”

Averaging 24.7 points and shooting 49.1 percent from the floor three games into his fourth season, Wiggins has helped Minnesota to a 2-1 start with quality victories over Utah and OKC. According to NBA.com, he’s the youngest player in Minnesota history to score 20-plus in the team’s first three games.

None by NBA.com/Stats

None by ESPN Stats & Info

The Timberwolves are gunning for the franchise’s first playoff appearance since 2003-04. They’ll rely on Wiggins’ scoring, for sure. But they’ll be in even better shape if he can help out on the boards, move the ball and try to become a lockdown defender, as well.

Comments

Kenneth Johnson 3 weeks, 5 days ago

Well, while he did a good job in the last minute of the game, he and the rest of the team did their best to try and lose the game after being ahead late.

The same was true the night before against the Utah Jazz. After being ahead by double digits, Wiggins made three errors, and almost lost the game for the Timberwolves.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of Wiggins and the Timberwolves, but they haven't shown so far that they can maintain the leads they develop in the third and fourth quarters.

Jonathan Allison 3 weeks, 4 days ago

Josh Jackson was fined $35,000 by the League for a gesture he made toward a Clippers fan.

Most people thought that he was mimicking shooting a gun at the fan. But he explained that he really wanted to flip the guy off, and attempted to "halfway" flip the guy off. From the camera angle it came away looking like a shooting gesture.

Growing pains for the young guy. It's not easy playing for possibly the worst team in the league, too bad he wasn't drafted by the 76ers.

Jonathan Allison 3 weeks, 4 days ago

I always believe that you are most likely to get a favorable bounce from the top of the key, especially in a buzzer beater scenario when you are rushing and the adrenaline is surging. That said, I'd guess that statisticians would still say your best percentage is from the corner three, but a corner three would be much harder to set up in this circumstance.

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