NBA

Rudy Gobert says nobody wants to face Timberwolves defense

By Sports Desk April 24, 2024

Rudy Gobert declared nobody wants to face the Minnesota Timberwolves' defense after they opened up a 2-0 series lead over the Phoenix Suns with a 105-93 win in Game 2 on Tuesday.

Gobert joined Mike Conley Jr. in scoring 18 points in support of Jaden McDaniels, who had 25 as the third-seeded Wolves tightened their grip on the series at Target Center.

The Suns' star trio of Devin Booker, Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal were held to a combined 18 for 45 from the field, the team failing to score triple figures for the second time in the series. 

Three-time Defensive Player of the Year Gobert – who averaged 9.2 defensive rebounds, 0.7 steals and 2.1 blocks per game through the regular season – is relishing the Wolves' steely reputation. 

"We can see it. I can feel it. I can see them. It's tough," Gobert said. "No one likes going against the type of defense that we're playing right now."

The Suns' woes were compounded when they lost guard Grayson Allen in the third quarter, the 28-year-old aggravating the right ankle sprain he suffered in Game 1.

Guarding Conley on a drive, Allen jumped in an attempt to block his opponent's shot and landed awkwardly. Having been helped from the court, he was ruled out for the rest of the game.

Suns coach Frank Vogel later told reporters X-rays on Allen's ankle had been negative, so his condition will be assessed on a day-to-day basis ahead of Game 3 on Friday.

"It's just a little bit tougher since I was in the air and landing, but when I watched the replay, it looked like I landed on someone's heel and rolled it pretty hard," Allen said.

On the only previous occasion on which Minnesota took a 2-0 lead in a playoff series, they went on to eliminate the Denver Nuggets 4-1 in the first round in 2004.

However, as the series heads to Footprint Center, Booker says nothing is decided yet.

"Don't count us out," Booker said. "It's a series for a reason." 

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