After listening to Wolves center Nikola Pekovic talk about the pain he’s been trying to play through – the pain in his right Achilles tendon that ultimately forced him out of tonight’s game midway through the first quarter – it’s hard not to think this injury might linger for a while.
There was no tweaking of the injury tonight. Pekovic said the pain – he called it a bruise – has been bothering him for a week or more, growing worse by the day. The back-to-back games Friday and Saturday really got to him. “It got really, really bad,” he said. “It just hurt all the time. … I tried to play tonight, but I couldn’t.”
Pekovic will see a doctor Tuesday morning for more tests. It’s possible a tentative timeline for his return could be set then.
Meanwhile, in his absence, Ronny Turiaf had his best scoring night in three years. He was actually kind of amazing tonight, playing the game with energy and gusto that got to the whole team; his block early in the second quarter got the Wolves going to a double-digit lead. Turiaf’s 14 points were his most since scoring 19 for New York in January of 2011.
Here are some other thoughts on tonight’s game:
--Chase Budinger took another step back to 100 percent. He scored 12 points on 5-for-7 shooting. He made his first two three-pointers and he had two very big fourth-quarter baskets as the Wolves kept the Bulls at bay.
--It was also a big night for J.J. Barea. He only scored four points. But he had seven assists and four rebounds. It was his passing that got Turiaf going tonight.
--Ricky Rubio started the game struggling to finish on his shots. But he finished strong. He had one point in the first half, but scored eight in the second half on 3-for-5 shooting.
--It was another stat-stuffing night for Corey Brewer, who scored 11 points with three assists, three steals and two blocks. Interestingly enough, though, he didn’t get a rebound in 35 minutes of playing time.
That’s about it, for now. The Wolves come home to play New Orleans on Wednesday trying yet again to get above .500. I’ll get back to you after tomorrow’s practice. Have a good night.