Postgame: That's five straight: Wolves lose at Golden State
- Blog Post by: Jerry Zgoda
- November 25, 2012 - 4:54 AM
Remember when the Wolves were 5-2?
That was little more than two weeks ago, but it seems like so much longer than that during this losing streak that grew to five games Saturday night in Oakland.
Here's the game story from tonight.
And here's a little of this and a little of that from tonight along with about seven minutes of postgame video that should be imbedded here in the blog and/or with the game story by morning:
* One night after Portland guards Damian Lillard and Wes Matthews combined for nine threes, 68 percent shooting and 58 points, the Warriors starting backcourt of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson outscored their Wolves' counterparts -- Luke Ridnour and Malcolm Lee -- 44-2.
That's right, 44-2.
Thompson had 24 of those and barely played at all in a fourth quarter the Wolves managed just 11 points, their season low for any quarter this season.
"We just didn't do enough in the fourth," Rick Adelman said. "We were there. You've got to finish games."
The Wolves are struggling to integrate Love back into things and you can see it in their ball movement, or lack thereof, especially late in games.
And for a team that can't shoot the three ball, they sure are taking a lot: They went 6 for 21 there tonight after going 3 for 18 Friday in Portland.
Derrick Williams, oddly enough, had shot the Wolves into a 77-72 lead just seconds into the fourth quarter by hitting two threes and scoring eight points in little more than a minute at the end of the third quarter and beginning of the fourth.
The same guy that didn't play a second the last two games scored 10 points in fewer than 11 minutes off the bench.
But that lead soon disappear when the Warriors went off on a 21-4 run, most of it after Adelman sent starters Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Love back into the game with 8 1/2 minutes left for Williams and Dante Cunningham.
Love made just six of 20 shots tonight -- two of four from the free-throw line -- and went 1 for 6 in a fourth quarter when the shot less than 27 percent.
He struggled so that midway through the fourth quarter he ripped off that protective glove he has said he will wear until January to protect his healing shooting hand and flung it, playing the rest of the game without it even though hand specialist said he won't be fully healed for another three weeks.
Love talks about it in the postgame video.
Adelman didn't seem terribly sympathetic afterward.
When asked if Love was getting his legs underneath him here in his third game back, Adelman said, "I don't know. He missed an awful lot of shots tonight. You'd have to ask him that."
Some numbers from tonight:
* Eight days after get clobbered 58-22 by the warriors in points in the paint, the Wolves won that battle 46-36 now that Love, Pekovic and J.J. Barea are back in the lineup. Interesting turnaround, but ultimately it didn't mean much because the Wolves once again couldn't defend the opposing team's backcourt.
* The Wolves' bench outscored Golden State's 43-23, but Carl Landry had 18 of his team's 23 and his dirty work on the boards and down low in the fourth quarter helped determine the night's outcome.
* The Warriors did out-rebound the Wolves again, 48-39, even without still-sidelined center Andrew Bogut.
* David Lee's six game streak of double-doubles ended with a 17-point, 8-rebound night while Love now is 3-for-3 this season with double-doubles, with 15 and 15 tonight. Again, it ultimately meant little.
And here are a couple of uplifting what-if things:
* Remember the 2009 draft? Enough said after watching Curry hit five threes tonight, and seemingly so effortlessly.
* And what if Harrison Barnes had left North Carolina after his freshman season instead of his sophomore? Moot now, of course, but would the Wolves have taken him second overall instead of Derrick Williams? He's looking like the real thing: He delivered his third double-double already with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
The Wolves will take Sunday off and practice here back at Oracle Arena on Monday before busing to Sacramento for Tuesday's game, the third in this four-game Western trip.
And before I go tonight...
My deepest sympathies and heartfelt prayers go out to Kevin McHale and his family on the passing of daugher Sasha on Saturday.
McHale, the longtime Wolves executive and head coach, has been on leave from his job as Houston's coach to be with Sasha as she battled the auto-immune disease lupus.
Please remember Kevin and his family in your thoughts and prayers.
© 2013 Star Tribune