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Wolves center Nikola Pekovic took a first-quarter shot against Golden State on Sunday night.

Jeff Wheeler, Star Tribune

GOLDEN STATE 93, WOLVES 88

Up next: Season finale, 7 p.m. Thursday vs. Denver • Target Center • TV: FSN (830-AM)

Barea after loss: 'We've got problems here'

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD
  • Star Tribune
  • April 23, 2012 - 8:58 AM

Before Sunday's game with Golden State at Target Center, the Timberwolves announced forward Kevin Love would not play again this season. After the Wolves had blown a 21-point second-quarter lead in a 93-88 loss, Wolves guard J.J. Barea suggested some of his teammates might already have stopped caring.

"We've got problems here," Barea said after his team shot 10-for-40 in the second half and struggled on defense. "We have a lot of guys that don't care. On a basketball team, when you have a bunch of guys who don't care, it's tough to win games. We're going to keep getting [losses] here until we get players that care about winning, about the team, about the fans."

The Wolves were without Love, again. He sustained a concussion when Denver's JaVale McGee elbowed him in the head April 11. Despite being cleared to play, he was shut down for the season. The Wolves cited the time Love has missed and the lack of practice time to get him ready to return. Love is second in the league in rebounding (13.3) and fourth in scoring (26.0).

Still, the Wolves jumped on the Warriors from the start, building a 21-point lead late in the second quarter. But in the second half the Wolves cooled on offense and stopped defending. The Warriors -- the first team since 2003 to start four rookies -- have won three times this month. Two have come against the Wolves. Back on April 4, the Wolves blew a 20-point lead in a loss to the Warriors. Sunday the Wolves did that one point better. Or worse.

"The game was easy in the first half," Wolves coach RickAdelman said. "In the second half we acted like it was going to be like that the whole game, without working at it.''

Barea was far more direct after playing all 48 minutes because rookie Malcolm Lee was ill. Asked if he thought changes had to be made to the roster, Barea said yes but that it wasn't his decision. "We come in here after the game and [act like] nothing happened," he said. "That's what happens to a losing team. ... It wasn't my best game. I did OK, but it wasn't one of my best. There are a bunch of us here who care and play hard. But there is a bunch that don't care. We just have to change that."

Reaction to Barea's comments was mixed. Michael Beasley said he didn't necessarily agree.

"Until you point those guys out one by one, it doesn't really matter," Beasley said. "That was a collective loss. ... It's disappointing that that's even brought up, that guys don't care. We have one more left. Guys who don't care won't be here next year."

Anthony Tolliver said the problem wasn't a lack of caring but a lack of focus on team concepts. Everybody, he said, has to look in a mirror.

Nikola Pekovic, who scored 19 points with 16 rebounds, put it simply. "If you don't want to win, go work in the office," he said. "Sit at a table and do whatever."

The Wolves led by 17 midway through the third, but Golden State finished the quarter on a 20-9 run, then opened the fourth on a 12-6 run to tie the score with 8 minutes left. Pekovic's three-point play with 1:28 left gave the Wolves a one-point lead, but the Warriors scored the final six points.

Kahn returning

Wolves owner Glen Taylor said the team has already informed or is informing president of basketball operations David Kahn that it has picked up Kahn's option for next season. That means Kahn will be back for his fourth season with the club. Kahn signed a three-year deal in May 2009 that included two more years of team options, each separate.

Etc.

• Pekovic said a May 15 date has been set for surgery to remove bone spurs from his right ankle.

• Adelman said guard Luke Ridnour, who missed his 10th game because of an ankle sprain, likely would not play Thursday.

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