Guess you can include Ricky Rubio among the list of players whose method of busting out of slumps is to keep shooting.
Rubio entered Saturday’s game with Phoenix at Target Center having shot 10-for-48 in his last five games, Rubio came out and took a career-high 18 shots. He made eight of them. That plus a 7-for-7 performance from the free throw line gave him a career-high 24 points in the Wolves’ 12-point victory.
“It’s a lot,” Rubio said of his shots. “But without (Kevin) Love and (Nikola Pekovic), there are a lot of shots to take, and I’m going to take them.”
Rubio knows how to end a slump in style. His 24-point, 10-assist, five-steal, five-rebound performance gave him his seventh 4x5 game of the season, tying him with LeBron James (2004-05) and Chris Paul (2008-09) for the most in a single season over the last 15 years.
More? It was Rubio’s 13th double-double of the season and his 15th game with 10 or more assists.
More? Rubio became the fourth player this year and just the third in Wolves history to college 20 or more points, 10 or more assists, and five or more steals and rebounds in a game. The others who have done it this season? Rajon Rondo, Chris Paul, Monta Ellis (twice).
Here are some other thoughts on the game:
--When J.J. Barea is on, he can be one pesky little player. He scored 16 points – nine in the second half – on 7-for-9 shooting, and it was his five points at the start of the fourth quarter that helped give the Wolves a comfortable lead.
--Once again Derrick Williams was rewarded with strong play by sitting on the bench. He scored eight points and had four rebounds in 10 minutes of play in the third quarter – he and Luke Ridnour helped push the Wolves out of their lethargy – but he didn’t play a minute in the fourth quarter.
--Talk about a second-half turnaround. Barea said coach Rick Adelman had some strong halftime words. The Wolves responded by out-scoring Phoenix 55-40 in the second half, out-rebounding the Suns 21-10 and forcing 14 Suns turnovers in the second half.
--All five Wolves starters were in double figures, and those five players shot 30-for-59.
--The Wolves tied a franchise high with 17 steals and six of the nine Wolves players who saw action had at least two. Williams had four.
That’s about all for now. Jerry will be covering Monday’s game.