So where have you seen this before?

Nine days ago, the Wolves led the Spurs by 21 points and lost in the final minute of overtime.

Tonight on the same night that Jonny Flynn made his return in the D League,  they led by 15 after three quarters thanks to a 25-9 run that ended the third and...

then they gave it all away, allowing the Spurs a 36-15 fourth quarter in which they again completely came undone, committing turnover after turnover, silly fouls, clearly losing their composure.

And that's not all.

They also lost another player, maybe two to injury.

Anthony Tolliver sprained a medial collateral knee ligament after he played just 4:41 tonght, an injury that dimished Kurt Rambis' lineup options with Nikola Pekovic already out upfront and one that left Tolliver limping as he left the locker room tonight.

No word yet on how serious it is, but I highly doubt whether he'll play Saturday night agianst the Cavaliers at Target Center.

More troublesome: Michael Beasley could barely walk on his turned ankle after the game.

He missed about four minutes of the fourth quarter after he hurt that ankle, disappearing not once but twice into the locker room while a 14-point lead when he left dwindled to six by the time he arrived.

The first time he left the floor, he went back and tried to run on the ankle.

When he returned, he decided to go back again and have the ankle taped up.

He came back and played the final 6:19 but playing on the bad wheel couldn't keep the Spurs from overwhelming his team when it mattered most once again, even though his 28-point night carried them to the brink of victory.

"It hurts, but I'm good," he said. "I'll play tomorrow."

We'll see how he feels when he wakes up Saturday morning.

Maybe that ankle will feel better than he and his teammates felt after the game, knowing they had clobbered the Spurs on the backboards and perhaps convinced Spurs coach Gregg Popovich that he needed to be ejected from the game just to get his players attention, which he did (the ejection) late in the third quarter when he worked hard to get those two Ts.

The Wolves had 24 offensive rebounds to the Spurs' eight, but half of those eight for the Spurs came in the fourth quarter, when the Wolves couldn't take care of the ball, couldn't make a shot and when Darko Milicic couldn't stay on the floor because of foul trouble before he fouled out in the final four minutes.

The Wolves didn't make a field goal for the final 4:13, when they got outscored 12-2.

Included were eight straight Spurs points that ended when asisstant coach Mike Budenholzer drew up a play out of a timeout that worked magificently, enough so that Richard Jefferson's all-alone slam dunk that gave the Spurs a 103-99 lead with 47 seconds left.

A couple other things from tonight:

* Kevin Love could have got the Wolves within a basket 18 seconds after Jefferson's slam but he missed both free throws.

That after he stretched his streak of consecutive free throws made to 46 straight until he missed one in the second quarter.

Until then, he hadn't missed a free throw since that Nov. 12 game against the Knicks when he went for 31 and 31.

Tonight, he ONLY had 25 and 18.

* Love sat slumped at his locker afterward, both knees wrapped with ice and he stared blankly at the night's stat sheet, probably trying to figure out again how his team lost this one.

He crumpled the page up in disgust and flung it toward a nearby wastebasket.

It missed, of course.

Wide right.

The question, of course, is what will it take for the Wolves to finish one of these games?

"Don't play the Spurs," Love said, offering one idea.

The Wolves likely are only days away -- maybe a week or two at most -- from getting both Jonny Flynn and Martell Webster back (Pekovic probably, too).

Webster might be their best bet for an experienced guy who can help settle them when it matters most. Wes Johnson sure doesn't look ready for that role yet, which is understandable considering he's a rookie.

You'd think Luke Ridnour would fill that role, although tonight he threw one pass away as wildly as any of the team's youngsters down the stretch.

I've got more on Flynn's return to game action tonight in Sioux Falls, but I'll put that on a separate thread.

Older Post

No Spurs-Wolves local TV tonight, but you can watch Jonny Flynn's return online

Newer Post

Flynn plays 24 minutes in his D League and season debut, declares himself fine afterward