DENVER – Timberwolves veteran Kevin Martin’s right wrist continued to throb Friday, which might be a good sign.
He has broken that wrist twice before in his career and each time scored 30-plus points. In Wednesday’s overtime victory over the Lakers, he scored 37 and sprained that wrist pretty good.
“Hopefully it’s still a little sore,” Wolves interim head coach Sam Mitchell deadpanned.
Martin iced it after the morning shootaround and grimaced before the game when he tested its range of motion, but he was determined to play anyway in a month when he just is starting to find his shooting touch after suffering through a lousy November.
He broke that same wrist last season and wondered if he had fractured it again when he injured it Wednesday.
“I was just glad it wasn’t broken,” said Martin, “because I don’t want to go through that again. Having three broken wrists, that might have knocked me out.”
In case of emergency…
Veteran Andre Miller missed Friday’s game because of a personal matter. With rookie Tyus Jones already assigned to the D-League’s Idaho team, that left the Wolves dependent on Ricky Rubio and Zach LaVine as their only available point guards. Point forward Nemanja Bjelica might have been next man up, in a pinch.
Mitchell said he had a “contingency plan” that he didn’t foresee unless the team needed a third point guard. “I got in mind somebody I’d play,” he said. “I don’t need to say right now. That’s a big If.”
The Wolves beat the Nuggets in October on their first trip through town, winning 95-78 the night before they attended coach Flip Saunders’ memorial service in Plymouth. Denver coach Mike Malone intended to attend along with several other NBA coaches and remember a man who had befriended him, but said he didn’t feel right leaving his team after such a defeat.
“I just didn’t feel comfortable leaving them,” Malone said. “I reached out to Ryan [Saunders], Wolves assistant coach] to let him know that my intent was to come honor his father, but I wasn’t able to make it, unfortunately.”
• Mitchell on Thursday watched video of Jones’ 27-point, 8-assist, 6-rebound D-League debut. “He handled himself well,” Mitchell said. “He went down with the right attitude, to get better, to get some playing time and remember how it feels to play in games.”
• LaVine was startled by a passing Stormtrooper before “Star Wars’ Night” Friday. The two teams will do it all again Tuesday when the Wolves hold their own such evening.
• Nuggets guard Gary Harris returned Friday after he missed six games because of a concussion. Teammates Darrell Arthur (knee soreness), Jusuf Nurkic (knee tendon) and Wilson Chandler (hip surgery) also didn’t play.