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In Sunday's 137-114 loss to Golden State at Target Center, Austin Rivers got the start with Jaden McDaniels out sick.

He was given a tough job: Guarding Stephen Curry. And he was on the court for a very difficult first quarter in which the Warriors dropped 47 points on the Wolves, taking control of the game for good. Afterward, he talked about the challenges of playing with a two-big lineup of Rudy Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns. From the start of the season the Wolves knew teams would push the ball against the big Wolves.

"We have to figure out ways to get back better,'' Rivers said of the Wolves defense, which struggled in transition much of the night in the 137-114 loss. "And if we're going to play [big], we've got to dominate in the paint. If we're going to play big, we've got to be big. Their big man was Dramond [Green] today. If we're going to continue to play that way, we've got to find ways to get better at it. It's early. But, at the same time, it's not.''

After the game, Wolves coach Chris Finch was asked what he felt the problem with the Towns-Gobert approach.

"I don't think the KAT-Gobert thing is not working,'' Finch said. "I honestly don't. I think we get a lot of turnovers, maybe, trying to throw the ball to him. I think we're trying to make the right play. But I don't think it's not working. I don't think that's our issue.''

Towns agreed that Sunday's game should have been one where the Wolves could take advantage of their size advantage.

"I think we're all trying to figure it out right now,'' Towns said.

Finding a rhythm

Towns made one of five three-point shots Sunday, continuing a trend in which he has struggled to connect from behind the arc.

Towns is shooting a career-low 32.8% on three-pointers. In his past six games he had made nine of 37 (24.3%).

"Of course it's been frustrating,'' Towns said. "I have complete confidence in myself to score. Making the last one [Sunday] gave me a big confidence boost. I feel really good stepping into [Monday's game at Washington].''

Towns will not change his approach.

"I've said it before, when you're in a slump like this, you've got to shoot yourself out of it,'' he said. "I feel very confident I will.''

More playing time?

Finch said he thought Rivers played some good defense on the perimeter. Good enough that he might try to find Rivers more playing time on a team he said is having trouble containing the ball.

"We need more guys who are able and willing to go out there and are willing to defend,'' Finch said.

Rivers scored only five points on 1-for-4 shooting. But Finch said Rivers was OK on the offensive end.

"I think he's been playing well offensively,'' Finch said. "He's been committed to staying with his shot when it's there, playing within the flow.''


  • Guard Jordan McLaughlin (left calf strain) missed his third straight game Sunday. Forward Taurean Prince (shoulder) missed his second in a row.