PHOENIX – Timberwolves starters Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Martin both scrimmaged 5-on-5 with teammates on Thursday for the first time since each was injured and both declared themselves hopeful to play Saturday at Sacramento.
Pekovic has not played since Jan. 27 because of bursitis in his right ankle.
“It was a great feeling, just being out there with the guys, going up and down,” Pekovic said of Thursday’s full workout. “I still got some pain. I was really trying to [get] some conditioning [recently] and actually tonight was not bad. It feels good. … I was really surprised.”
Martin has not played since he fractured a bone in his left, non-shooting thumb Feb. 7. He visited a Los Angeles hand specialist on Monday. “Just learning to catch the ball and just playing with a broken thumb is my task right now,” he said. “I’m all right.”
The Wolves will practice in Phoenix on Friday with assistant coach Terry Porter conducting the workout while coach Rick Adelman is back in Minneapolis spending a rare three-day break on the road with his wife, Mary Kay.
• The Wolves’ Thursday practice was most notable for footage that found its way onto ESPN. Before practice, Kevin Love re-created a dunk LeBron James did in that same gym, throwing a ball far off a wall and then dunking it as bounced back high toward him. Like James, he even did it shirtless and with a reverse dunk that, spontaneously or not, inspired teammates to leap and celebrate wildly.
“I did it first time,” Love said. “I couldn’t believe [I] did it [the] first time actually because I wasn’t loose at all.”