The Wolves needed this victory, given the tough four-game road trip they will now embark on. And while they will be without Kevin Love for weeks and may be without head coach Rick Adelman for at least one more game, the Wolves continue to show resiliency in the face of adversity.
Here are some impressions from Tuesday’s victory:
--Ricky Rubio returned after missing four games with back spasms and looked as good as he has since his debut this season. He didn’t score a field goal, but he got to the line six times, had a team-high eight assists and four steals and his plus-10 rating was the best on the Target Center Court.
Afterwards he talked about how he’s still not 100-percent in his conditioning. But, tomorrow, he’s going to take another big step when he plays in Oklahoma City. It will be the first time he has played in the second of consecutive games since his return from knee surgery.
His impact Tuesday was obvious; four of his eight assists were on three-pointers. His play completely changes the Wolves’ spacing.
--Nikola Pekovic shrugged off a sore hip to get 25 points and 18 rebounds, completely dominating the play inside. He is going to be a very expensive player to re-sign.
--Alexey Shved rebounded from his 1-for-11 shooting performance against Portland to score 15 points, hit two of five three-pointers and get seven assists. He still wasn’t great from the field (6-for-15), but he continues to be fearless in difficult situations.
--Andrei Kirilenko got his 2,000th career assist two minutes into the game. But he didn’t get a steal, so remains one steal short of 1,000 for his career. Maybe tomorrow?
--Derrick Williams had another strong night, with 17 points on 7-for-13 shooting with three three-pointers.
That’s about it for now. Jerry will be with the team on the upcoming road trip.