Staff Directory 10646291

Jerry Zgoda

Reporter | Timberwolves, NBA
phone: 612-673-7197
Jerry has been a Star Tribune sportswriter so long, his first beat directly out of college was covering the North Stars. In nearly 30 years, he has covered the NHL, the Wolves and the NBA twice (he missed the first Kevin Garnett era, which says something about his sense of timing), Gophers and NCAA athletics, the radio/TV beat, major-championship golf and outdoor recreation. Follow @JerryZgoda
Recent content from Jerry Zgoda
Wolves await results of MRI after Butler's knee injury

Wolves await results of MRI after Butler's knee injury

The Timberwolves returned from the All-Star break with a dud, losing 120-102 to the Rockets while seeing Jimmy Butler helped off the court in the third quarter.
Rockets star Harden voices concern, support for Jimmy Butler

Rockets star Harden voices concern, support for Jimmy Butler

James Harden and teammate Chris Paul were among the many who surrounded Jimmy Butler after he collapsed to the court after planting his right leg Friday night.
Wolves' Butler says he's leaving Rose decision up to coach

Wolves' Butler says he's leaving Rose decision up to coach

Jimmy Butler and Derrick Rose were teammates in Chicago for five seasons, and Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau coached both players with the Bulls.
Wolves' Towns proves he belongs in first NBA All-Star Game

Wolves' Towns proves he belongs in first NBA All-Star Game

The Wolves center sparked Team Stephen off bench while Jimmy Butler decided to sit this one out.
'I got to rest.' Butler chooses not to play in All-Star Game

'I got to rest.' Butler chooses not to play in All-Star Game

Butler chose not to play, the only player from either team who didn't. He suggested in the weeks leading to Sunday that such a game isn't suited for a guy built to defend and win.
Butler knows what Towns will soon: First time is best time as an All-Star

Butler knows what Towns will soon: First time is best time as an All-Star

There's only one first time, and while Butler belongs in Sunday's game for a fourth time, there's almost always a first time for somebody. This time it belongs to teammate Karl-Anthony Towns.
Wolves' Butler, Towns share common motivation as All-Stars

Wolves' Butler, Towns share common motivation as All-Stars

As different as they might be, Karl-Anthony Towns and Jimmy Butler are Timberwolves one and the same who have found common ground.
NBA Insider: Wolves question the benefits of the revised schedule

NBA Insider: Wolves question the benefits of the revised schedule

Attempting to reduce wear on its players, the NBA opened its season two weeks earlier this year, a change that reduced the number of back-to-back games and ensured teams now won't play four games in five nights.
Wolves' home streak shattered by barrage of Houston threes

Wolves' home streak shattered by barrage of Houston threes

Leading by just four points with just under eight minutes left, the Rockets made four of their 22 three-pointers to lead by 16 points less than two minutes later.
Thibodeau not ready to let players coach just yet

Thibodeau not ready to let players coach just yet

Golden State's Steve Kerr turned over duties to players Monday. Will we see that with the Wolves? "I don't think we're ready for that," Tom Thibodeau said.
Making a sacrifice: Teague adjusts to unfamiliar role with Wolves

Making a sacrifice: Teague adjusts to unfamiliar role with Wolves

Jeff Teague has considered himself a scoring point guard for most of his NBA career> But times change and Teague says he's needed to change.
Wolves more lucky than good in winning 13th in a row at home

Wolves more lucky than good in winning 13th in a row at home

The Wolves didn't play with the same kind of what Karl-Anthony Towns calls "energy" and "urgency" that were the bedrock of the previous 12 victories at Target Center.
Towns' three-point streak ends at bad time for Wolves

Towns' three-point streak ends at bad time for Wolves

That streak ended at 10 — one more than Martell Webster had in 2011 — with a three-pointer that could have won Friday night's game at Chicago.
NBA Insider: Player-referee relations are strained

NBA Insider: Player-referee relations are strained

The NBA recently announced a five-pronged initiative to improve player/referee relations during a season when a notable list of superstars have been ejected.
LaVine's big fourth quarter lifts Bulls over Wolves

LaVine's big fourth quarter lifts Bulls over Wolves

In his first game against the Wolves, Zach LaVine sank three late free-throws to give him 35 points and outshine Jimmy Butler in his return to Chicago.
The Butler deal did it: Both Wolves and Bulls helped by trade

The Butler deal did it: Both Wolves and Bulls helped by trade

Even though the Bulls have a bad record, the three players Chicago acquired have played well enough when healthy this season to believe the Bulls are headed in a good direction, and maybe quickly.
King everything: LeBron's block, buzzer-beater give Cavs OT win over Wolves

King everything: LeBron's block, buzzer-beater give Cavs OT win over Wolves

In a game that featured an NBA-record 40 made three-pointers, LeBron James' jumpshot at the overtime buzzer was the difference.
Moved-up NBA trade deadline doesn't mean trades will happen

Moved-up NBA trade deadline doesn't mean trades will happen

"There's always a lot of talk, but usually not a lot gets done," Wolves coach/president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau said.
Life on the road needs to get better for Timberwolves

Life on the road needs to get better for Timberwolves

Unlike their 12-game winning streak at Target Center, the road has not been kind to them. They are 1-8 in their past nine after starting the season 11-8 away from home.
NBA insider: Is Wolves' third trade under Thibodeau on the horizon?

NBA insider: Is Wolves' third trade under Thibodeau on the horizon?

Now that the NBA has moved its annual trade deadline ahead of All-Star weekend to Thursday, the Wolves will try to buy. "You think every day how you can improve your team," Tom Thibodeau said.
Jimmy Butler tries to convince people: 'I'm really a football player'

Jimmy Butler tries to convince people: 'I'm really a football player'

Butler sometimes carries around a football gioven to him by Steelers star Antonio Brown and said: "These are the surest hands west of the Atlantic and I just got burners. I'm just fast."
Wolves mourn death of one-time teammate Rasual Butler

Wolves mourn death of one-time teammate Rasual Butler

A Timberwolf during training camp a season ago, longtime NBA player Rasual Butler nonetheless impressed Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins.
Wolves put on a show, win wire-to-wire over Bucks at Target Center

Wolves put on a show, win wire-to-wire over Bucks at Target Center

In front of a star-studded Super Bowl week crowd, the Wolves won at home for the 11th straight game by polishing off Milwaukee.
Towns passes more, shoots less as game dictates

Towns passes more, shoots less as game dictates

Karl-Anthony Towns took only seven shots against the Raptors on Tuesday and still managed a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Messy Wolves make multiple mistakes, lose to lowly Atlanta

Messy Wolves make multiple mistakes, lose to lowly Atlanta

A botched inbounds play, two technical fouls and questions about who was supposed to be on the floor in the game's final minute were part of the late-game collapse.
Wolves' Teague yields floor to Jones in team-first move

Wolves' Teague yields floor to Jones in team-first move

Midway through the fourth quarter against the Nets on Saturday, Jeff Teague told his coach to leave reserve Tyus Jones on the floor because Jones and Jamal Crawford had helped rebuild a double-digit lead over Brooklyn.
Wolves can't hang until the end with Warriors trio in loss to Golden State

Wolves can't hang until the end with Warriors trio in loss to Golden State

Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant and Steph Curry combined to score 78 points for Golden State in defeating the Wolves.
Damian Lillard's big night in 'Blazerville' spells trouble for Wolves

Damian Lillard's big night in 'Blazerville' spells trouble for Wolves

Lillard celebrated being named to his third NBA All-Star Game with 31 points, including six of Portland's 17 three-pointers. The Wolves gave up a season-high point total in the third quarter.
In new NBA All-Star format, somebody's got to be the last pick

In new NBA All-Star format, somebody's got to be the last pick

In an attempt to put some pizazz back into an All-Star game that noticeably lacks it, the NBA changed formats. They will announce two teams, chosen by captains LeBron James and Stephen Curry
Butler, Towns give Wolves two All-Stars for first time in 14 years

Butler, Towns give Wolves two All-Stars for first time in 14 years

Western Conference coaches chose seven reserves and two Timberwolves were taken for only the third time in franchise history.
Wolves to honor Saunders with banner to be unveiled next month

Wolves to honor Saunders with banner to be unveiled next month

A banner that honors Saunders' memory will be unveiled on Feb. 15 and all fans in attendance will receive a Saunders commemorative coin.
Sorry not sorry: Towns doubles down on support for Eagles

Sorry not sorry: Towns doubles down on support for Eagles

A Philadelphia Eagles fan since he was a boy, Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns tweeted out support for his favorite team after Sunday's NFC Championship Game rout, and for plenty of Vikings fans, it was too soon.
Wiggins soars for 40 as Wolves win, equal last season's victory total

Wiggins soars for 40 as Wolves win, equal last season's victory total

Andrew Wiggins' 40-point performance was his fifth 30-point game at Staples Center. It powered the Wolves to their 31st victory this season and second straight without Jimmy Butler on the floor.
Q&A: Jimmy Butler says, 'I'll find my way to the top'

Q&A: Jimmy Butler says, 'I'll find my way to the top'

Get a win. All else is secondary for Wolves star Jimmy Butler, who is willing to goad teammates into being the best they can be.
NBA Insider: Wolves' success could mean All-Star nods for Butler, Towns

NBA Insider: Wolves' success could mean All-Star nods for Butler, Towns

The NBA All-Star Game's reserves will be announced on TNT before its Tuesday doubleheader. Might the Wolves be well-represented?
Wolves will try to avoid first three-game losing streak

Wolves will try to avoid first three-game losing streak

The Wolves in the past week have lost to a Magic team that had won once since Dec. 6 and were beaten 116-98 Thursday by a Rockets team the Wolves could see in the playoffs.
Wolves can't handle Houston's outside game in 18-point loss

Wolves can't handle Houston's outside game in 18-point loss

Eric Gordon led all scorers with 30 points for Houston, which let fly from long range at will vs. the Wolves in a 116-98 victory.
Bjelica on Afflalo after punch: 'I don't know what's wrong with that guy'

Bjelica on Afflalo after punch: 'I don't know what's wrong with that guy'

The players were ejected after Arron Afflalo threw a haymaker punch that appeared to graze Bjelica's head. Bjelica then wrapped Affalo in a headlock
Butler chides Wolves after loss to Magic: 'We haven't done anything yet'

Butler chides Wolves after loss to Magic: 'We haven't done anything yet'

"They played better than us," Butler said. "They played harder than we did. They did everything right. We didn't play the way we were supposed to and they whipped our butts. I'm happy."
Wolves-Orlando game recap

Wolves-Orlando game recap

A recap of the Wolves' 108-102 loss at Orlando Tuesday.
Wiggins doing more of everything after early-season doldrums

Wiggins doing more of everything after early-season doldrums

Once mired in a scoring slump that left him often invisible less, Andrew Wiggins has since provided many of the things that his coach wants -- and his shooting touch is back.
Wolves dominate Thunder in 'more than just another game'

Wolves dominate Thunder in 'more than just another game'

The Timberwolves won both the game and their season series against Western Conference rival Oklahoma City, accomplishments that could pay dividends for the postseason.
Teague returns to starting lineup for Timberwolves

Teague returns to starting lineup for Timberwolves

Jeff Teague missed seven games after Denver's Will Barton fell on his leg in an overtime victory two weeks ago. He played 26 minutes against Oklahoma City, finishing with eight points and three assists.
Wolves guard Teague might play Wednesday vs. Oklahoma City

Wolves guard Teague might play Wednesday vs. Oklahoma City

After practicing Tuesday, The Wolves upgraded guard Jeff Teague from out to questionable for Wednesday's game in their injury report. Teague has missed seven games with a sprained MCL.
Wolves take a stand, dominate Cleveland in 28-point victory

Wolves take a stand, dominate Cleveland in 28-point victory

LeBron James' introduction to retooled Wolves came on a night when the Wolves raced to an early lead and led the Cavaliers by as many as 41 points.,
Crawford chose Wolves over Cavs before Thomas deal

Crawford chose Wolves over Cavs before Thomas deal

All that likely would have changed had the Cavaliers' trade that sent Kyrie Irving to Boston for Isaiah Thomas happened in early July rather than late August.
Karl-Anthony Towns: Seeking change on and off the court

Karl-Anthony Towns: Seeking change on and off the court

The son of a Dominican nurse and a New Jersey basketball coach, 22-year-old Towns intends to push barriers, whether it's redefining what all a basketball big man can be or by speaking out on racism and other issues.
NBA insider: Wolves, fans endure the growing pains of winning

NBA insider: Wolves, fans endure the growing pains of winning

It's January, 50 wins remain viable and Friday's loss at Boston was the Wolves' first consecutively in nearly seven weeks.
Bounces, weather don't go Wolves' way in loss to Boston

Bounces, weather don't go Wolves' way in loss to Boston

Battling a winter storm and a team with comeback aspirations in Boston, the Wolves lost back-to-back games for the first time since before Thanksgiving.
Jones hurting over Wolves' loss to Nets and split lip

Jones hurting over Wolves' loss to Nets and split lip

"That stung pretty bad," Wolves guard Tyus Jones said Thursday, a day after Minnesota lost at Brooklyn and Jones received stitches in his mouth.
Brooklyn goes deep, again and again, to beat 'low-energy' Wolves

Brooklyn goes deep, again and again, to beat 'low-energy' Wolves

The Wolves didn't bring the fire that marked their last two victories and were outscored 42-3 on three-pointers in losing for the second time in nine games.
Gibson comes home to Brooklyn wearing No. 67 Wolves jersey

Gibson comes home to Brooklyn wearing No. 67 Wolves jersey

Wolves forward Taj Gibson wore his No. 67 jersey into Brooklyn's Barclays Center on Wednesday night for the first time since he decided last summer to become the first player ever to wear that number.
Towns shows his potential on defense with six blocks

Towns shows his potential on defense with six blocks

Karl-Anthony Towns' league-leading 29th double-double this season — 18 points, 14 rebounds Sunday night — is old news. His activity defending the rim is something of a revelation
Wolves' Teague laments lost chance to play at his home in Indianapolis

Wolves' Teague laments lost chance to play at his home in Indianapolis

Jeff Teague's second game missed with an MCL sprain will be a New Year's Eve game Sunday in his hometown against a Pacers team for which he played last season.
With Teague out, Jones takes over at point guard again for Wolves

With Teague out, Jones takes over at point guard again for Wolves

He's a starter for the second time this season. In an instant, Tyus Jones went from playing between 10 and 16 minutes a night as a backup to as many as 41½ minutes at New Orleans.
Wolves' Teague has sprained left knee, no structural damage

Wolves' Teague has sprained left knee, no structural damage

Timberwolves veteran guard Jeff Teague was injured late in regulation during Wednesday's overtime victory vs. Denver.
Not this time: Wolves go cold after hot start in Milwaukee

Not this time: Wolves go cold after hot start in Milwaukee

The Wolves on Thursday led by 20 with under eight minutes to play in the third quarter but allowed the Bucks to mount a comeback, ending a five-game winning streak.
Butler, Gibson strengthening core of Timberwolves

Butler, Gibson strengthening core of Timberwolves

Wolves newcomers Butler, Gibson wield a work ethic that's catching on with the rest of the team.
Nemanja Bjelica returns to Wolves lineup after missing 15 games

Nemanja Bjelica returns to Wolves lineup after missing 15 games

He played 5:45 without scoring a point in his first game since Nov. 22.
Feeling holiday cheer, Wolves turn it on in fourth quarter to top Lakers

Feeling holiday cheer, Wolves turn it on in fourth quarter to top Lakers

They blew away the shorthanded Lakers with 38 points in the final period, securing their fourth victory in a row.
Irreverent TNT crew will call Wolves-Lakers game tonight

Irreverent TNT crew will call Wolves-Lakers game tonight

Does Turner Sports have enough microphones to accommodate Charles Barkley, Shaquille O'Neal, Kenny Smith and ringmaster Ernie Johnson?
Butler savors win; coach savors Butler

Butler savors win; coach savors Butler

The star guard scored 20 of his 32 points in the second half in the Wolves' victory over the Suns, causing coach Tom Thibodeau to say: "Jimmy Butler was not going to let us lose that game."
Butler, Crawford turn up the defense in Wolves victories

Butler, Crawford turn up the defense in Wolves victories

Just when their season's momentum teetered, the Timberwolves won consecutive games and maybe delivered a message as well.
Jimmy Butler takes over late to lead Wolves to 112-104 win over Denver

Jimmy Butler takes over late to lead Wolves to 112-104 win over Denver

Jimmy Butler was unstoppable down the stretch, scoring eight points in the final 90 seconds.
Wolves' Jimmy Butler starts asserting himself on offense

Wolves' Jimmy Butler starts asserting himself on offense

Deferring no more, Butler is playing in December just like the guy Tom Thibodeau once coached in Chicago.

Thibodeau adds Georges-Hunt to Wolves' thin rotation

Tom Thibodeau adjusted his rotation Thursday for the first time since he went essentially with a three-man bench these past two weeks.
Towns' monster game leads Wolves over Sacramento

Towns' monster game leads Wolves over Sacramento

Karl-Anthony Towns turned in a 30-point, 14-rebound, five-assist, five-block game on a night when the Wolves led by as many as 27 points.
Butler: 'We need to get in better shape if we're tired'

Butler: 'We need to get in better shape if we're tired'

Karl-Anthony Towns, Jimmy Butler and Andrew Wiggins all played 40 minutes or more in Tuesday's overtime loss; Taj Gibson almost did before fouling out.
Towns blames himself as Wolves squander lead, lose to Sixers in OT

Towns blames himself as Wolves squander lead, lose to Sixers in OT

Karl-Anthony Towns was upset about being unable to stop Philadelphia star Joel Embiid late in the game, which helped waste a 38-point night by Jimmy Butler.
After years of woe, pieces falling into place for 76ers

After years of woe, pieces falling into place for 76ers

The league's laughingstock not so long ago while they accumulated both draft picks and losses galore, the Sixers are must-see TV and play the Wolves in an ESPN game tonight.
Similarities striking between rebuild jobs by Wolves, 76ers

Similarities striking between rebuild jobs by Wolves, 76ers

Each team has been remade around a pair of young stars and a handful of added veterans.
'Definitely frustrating': Suddenly, Muhammad's not playing for Wolves

'Definitely frustrating': Suddenly, Muhammad's not playing for Wolves

After returning to team as a free agent, veteran Wolves reserve forward Shabazz Muhammad has fallen out of favor with coach Tom Thibodeau. "It's definitely frustrating," Muhammad said, adding he'll stay professional.
Sweet movement: Towns gets his looks when it's the right call

Sweet movement: Towns gets his looks when it's the right call

Against the Clippers on Wednesday, Karl-Anthony Towns used his mobility to create and make baskets - because the right opportunity was there.
Towns has big night as Wolves hold off fourth-quarter push by Clippers

Towns has big night as Wolves hold off fourth-quarter push by Clippers

The Wolves led by as many as 19 points after halftime before using a pair of blocked shots in the closing minutes from Karl-Anthony Towns to help seal a close victory.
Whalen gets on other side of mic with Wolves' TV broadcast team

Whalen gets on other side of mic with Wolves' TV broadcast team

Lynx guard Lindsay Whalen on Wednesday joined Wolves play-by-play announcer Dave Benz and analyst Jim Petersen for the first of eight games.
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