Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio blamed himself for Friday’s 95-93 loss to Toronto that kept coach Rick Adelman waiting at least one more night for his 1,000th career victory.
Rubio missed two of eight free-throw attempts Friday, including one that would have tied the score with 1.7 seconds after he had made the first of two.
Adelman said he isn’t worried about Rubio putting that final missed shot behind him.
“I think he’ll move on, he has done that,” Adelman said. “He just didn’t make the free throws, but we missed some before that, too, that cost us. … It happens, you go to the line. He doesn’t need to be talked to. He usually makes free throws, and he missed that one. That’s the way it goes.”
The Wolves attempted 24 more free throws than the Raptors but missed 10 of the 40 they tried, including three of six in the final 1:53.
Missed free throws, particularly late in games, have been an issue all season.
“It’s a weakness of ours in a crunch moment,” said Wolves forward Andrei Kirilenko, who missed one of two with 55 seconds left Friday. “We missed three or four shots in the last couple minutes. It’s unacceptable.”
Rubio vows he’ll work to improve his free throws, and promises he will quickly forget Friday’s miss.
“We have another one,” he said, referring to Saturday’s home game against Detroit. “It’s hard to lose like that. In the NBA, the good thing or bad thing sometimes is you have games 24 hours later. We have an opportunity to correct what we did wrong and try to win.”
And although Rubio hit just one of 13 shots Saturday, his one basket came late in the game, along with some clutch free throws. He finished with 10 points, six assists and five steals.
• Rookie Alexey Shved played just 3:41 on Saturday, his fewest minutes when he’s played a game this season. He played eight minutes against Toronto on Friday. After the game, Wolves basketball boss David Kahn consoled Shved at his locker.
• Rubio injured his left shoulder in the third quarter after he collided with Pistons guard Brandon Knight. He held it in pain coming off the court, but played the rest of the game and afterward had it wrapped in an ice bag. Asked if the shoulder would be OK, he said, “I hope so.”
• The last time the Wolves and Pistons played — two weeks ago in Detroit — the Wolves turned from the league’s worst three-point shooting team into one that made 14 three-pointers. “I’m not going to answer that question,” Pistons coach Lawrence Frank said when asked about that night. “I’m not going to answer anything about their shooting other than to say I hope we do a better job contesting their shots and force them to miss. I’m not going to say it was an aberration or anything. They just made shots.”