Is two a streak?: Wolves win second straight, 101-89 over Wizards
- Blog Post by: Jerry Zgoda
- December 27, 2009 - 3:09 AM
Here's some random thoughts about the Wolves' 101-89 victory over the Washington Wizards tonight at Target Center:
* They won consecutive games for the first time this season -- and the first time since winning at the L.A. Clippers and Golden State in April late season -- and they've now won four of their last seven after starting the season 1-15 and 3-21.
* Poor Flip Saunders.
* Corey Brewer scored a career-high 27 points, outscored the great Gilbert Arenas by a point while taking half the amount of shots (Brewer 9 of 16, Arenas 10 of 28).
Brewer's night included a 4-for-4 third quarter and 3-for-5 fourth quarter -- that's 7 for 9 after halftime, sports fans -- that included 14 fourth-quarter points (eight of them on free throws).
You look at those left seven games and you want to attribute a good bit of it to Kevin Love's influence, but Brewer has actually put the shooting back into his shooting-guard position and it sure makes a difference. He has scored 20 or more points in three of those seven games and the Wolves have won all three of them.
You're playing awfully shorthanded if you have a shooting guard who can't shoot and score and Brewer's recent play -- 16.7 ppg on 48.4 percent shooting -- was one of the reasons Al Jefferson sat at his locker stall after tonight's game and marveled about an offensive scheme he doubted not that long ago.
* Who needs an offensive system when you've got Gilbert Arenas?
* Kurt Rambis and his players differed on the definition of winning streak. Rambis, used to those long winning straks in Los Angeles, considers it at least "a few," certainly more than one.
Kevin Love, Ramon Sessions and particularly Al Jefferson figured two is a streak.
Heck, Jefferson laughed after the game and said he considers one victory a streak. Given his experiences almost all of his career, who could argue with that?
* Sessions was darn good in the fourth quarter. He subbed in for Jonny Flynn late in the third quarter and stayed in the game until only 1:03 remained. He was out there for almost all of a decisive fourth quarter when the Wolves outscored the Wizards 33-22.
On a night when Flynn went 2 for 12, Sessions produced a 10-point, 8-rebound, 5-assist, 1-block night that included four of the team's 19 offensive rebounds.
* I'm not certain of this, but I'm pretty sure Ryan Hollins' jaw-dropping, pogo-stick dunk over Andre Blatche early in the fourth quarter made ESPN SportsCenter's Top 10 Plays list tonight.
* Ryan Gomes did make his return after missing six games because of that high ankle sprain. He played 16 minutes, showed some effects of that injury and had five points and five rebounds.
* The Wolves had 23 assists to the Wizards' 12, outrebounded them 56-45 (including 19-7 on the offensive boards), shot 15 more free throws (39 to 24) and won by 11 despite shooting just 37.4 percent. The Wizards were only a bit better, at 39.5 percent.
* Damien Wilkins' 13 rebounds, including eight in the first quarter alone, were a career high despite a 1-for-10 shooting night.
* Love (17 points, 10 rebounds) seemed barely a factor on the backboard compared to his recent play, so he simply chose to stuff the stat sheet with two timely blocked shots in that telling fourth quarter.
* The Wolves were supposed to wear their blue "throwback" jerseys from that inaugural season long ago again tonight, but the Wizards didn't bring their white jerseys.
So the only throwback tonight was...the Wizards' coaching staff, with, of course, Flip, his former Wolves assistants Randy Wittman (former Wolves head coach, too) and Don Zierden and former Wolves guard Sam Cassell.
Here's the story I wrote on Flip and the Wizards for tonight's paper:
That's all from Target Center tonight.
The Wolves go back to work with practice tomorrow and Monday before they fly to San Antonio for a game there Tuesday against Tim Duncan and Co.
16.7 points on 48.4 percentage in these last seven games when the Wolves have gone 4-3.
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