Oh, no, Darko!: One more goes down in 121-114 loss at New York
- Blog Post by: Jerry Zgoda
- December 7, 2010 - 2:22 AM
Just when you thought the Wolves were getting healthy...
With Martell Webster presumably back sometime this week and Jonny Flynn likely next week, it seemed like things finally are going the Wolves way until...they found out Anthony Tolliver will out at least a month because of that sprained MCL and then Darko goes out after less than eight minutes tonight because of a bruised quadricep when he was likely kneed in the back of the leg.
He says he can't really remember how it got hit because he was too busy being mad at the officials for whistling him for two quick fouls.
When he was in the game, he outscored Amare Stoudemire 10-4 early while the Wolves couldn't miss and built an 11-point lead shortly after Darko left the game.
Kevin Love set a franchise record tonight by making his first three three-point attempts, which combined with his 5-for-5 night Saturday made him 8 for 8, the franchise's longest streak for threes without a miss previously held by four players (most recently by Rodney Carney).
The last time these teams played, Love, of course, produced that 31/31 game, the first 30-point, 30-rebound game since Moses Malone in 1982.
Tonight, he only had 33 and 15.
When asked what he says about the stats Love is producing consistently, Kurt Rambis said this:
"I say, `Get your rest, you're going to have to do in the next ballgame.' He's putting up numbers that are like old-school numbers, even before-my-time kind of numbers. They're just fairly ridiculous. We don't do a whole lot of him. He's just doing it out there on his own, creating stuff for himself. He's just a man out there getting rebounds, helping his team, helping himself score, doing it by working his butt off. He's playing at a very high level right now."
It wasn't enough to overcome a Knicks team that won for the 10th time in 11 games.
Man, how weird does that sound?
The Wolves shot 72 percent in the first quarter, scored 68 by halftime, then got outscored 31-18 in a third quarter.
Rambis it attributed to Milicic's absence and his missing "basketball IQ" that left the Wolves disorganized offensively rather hurt defensively. That and the Wolves' point-guard play continues to struggle. Luke Ridnour was signed last summer for his veteran savvy and leadership, but he was the guy who threw the ball around as wildly as anybody when the Wolves blew that 15-point lead Friday in San Antonio and tonight he had five of the team's 17 turnovers.
A month ago, it looked like the Wolves' offense would operate more efficiently with Ridnour running it, no matter when Flynn returned.
Now, it looks like that sure better not be the case.
Turnovers once again were one factor.
Another was the Wolves' inability once again to prevent open three pointers.
Part of that is their defense, part of it is a Knicks team that on most nights are dang dangerous playing off Amare's inside game with their many outside shooters. Tonight, it was even more problematic because the Wolves had to go small after Milicic left, with Love playing center and Mike Beasley at power forward mostly.
The Knicks made 13. Of course, they shot 30, too.
"We're not the only team they make threes on," Rambis said.
Stoudemire took advantage of the Wolves' undersized lineup, attacking the basket, scoring 34, including 12 in the fourth quarter.
Still, Rambis was upbeat afterward.
"We've made huge progress if you look where we were in training camp," Rambis said. "We're much, much better than we were. I'm very proud of our progress, from training camp to today and we don't have a full team together. I don't even know if it'll happen this year, where we get everybody healthy enough and have enough chemistry and time it takes to grow as a team.
"I'm proud of their growth. When you consider how young we are and how much progress we've made in the short period of time. I'm really proud of these guys. I'm happy with what they've done."
That's all I got from New York City tonight.
Wolves flew home after game, practice tomorrow at Target Center and play Oklahoma City Wednesday night there.
Darko limped out of Madison Square Garden tonight saying his leg hurt "real bad" and was concerned how it'll feel when he awakes Tuesday.
"A lot of pain," he said. "Just try and see how it feels tomorrow because I don't want to miss too much."
There's a chance Martell Webster could make his Wolves debut then. He's scheduled to meet with doctors and the Wolves staff Tuesday to see if he gets clearance for his return, either Wednesday or by the weekend.
Good night. Blog with you later.
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