Wolves clear the air, then clobber Charlotte 119-92

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 12, 2014 - 1:47 AM

A 27-point rout was the ideal vehicle for Wolves starters and reserves to distance themselves from a short-lived rift.


On Friday everybody was smiling again.

In a 119-92 thrashing of the Charlotte Bobcats at Target Center, the Wolves proved again to be as resilient as they are inconsistent.

The victory came two days after yet another late-game meltdown against Phoenix dropped Minnesota to 0-10 in games decided by four points or fewer, a loss exacerbated by Kevin Love’s postgame decision to call out reserves J.J. Barea and Dante Cunningham for not joining the team during timeouts down the stretch.

Again, Minnesota responded.

The Wolves are now 8-2 after those 10 close losses. They have won a league-leading eight games by 20 or more points. Minnesota hasn’t figured out how to win the close ones yet, but it sure knows how to win big.

“I wish we could meet somewhere in the middle there,” said Love, who had 19 points and 14 rebounds. “We’ve been resilient. But now we need to have one good streak and we’re right back to where we want to be.”

What was most striking about this win was the depth of the production. Starters Kevin Martin (19 points), Love and Nikola Pekovic (26) took turns dominating the first, second and third quarters. Pekovic, in particular, made things difficult for former Wolves player Al Jefferson from start to finish, scoring 15 points in the third quarter.

But this time the victory went deep into the team’s bench. For the first time since March 3, 2012, coach Rick Adelman had a completely healthy roster, and that depth started showing itself against the Bobcats — only a couple of days after Barea and Cunningham were chastised by Love, ostensibly because of their unhappiness over playing time.

Competition for minutes is only going to get keener.

After a back-and-forth first quarter had the Wolves up one, a lineup of reserves opened the second quarter on an 18-6 run — with Barea scoring seven points and Alexey Shved six — to push the lead to 13. That lead grew to 20 points by halftime and as high as 31 in the third quarter.

Depth? The Wolves bench scored 43 points, with Shved scoring 11, Chase Budinger eight and Cunningham six. Budinger’s return has helped the spacing with the second unit, and Ronny Turiaf’s return has given the Wolves a player capable of protecting the rim.

“It was great,” Barea said. “We did a good job of letting the other night go. We forgot about that already. We’re back winning and we have to keep it going.”

Add that to a starting unit that shot a combined 30-for-49 (61.2 percent), and you have the ingredients for success. The Wolves, back to .500 yet again, just have to mix in a little more consistency.

“We keep going back and forth,” Adelman said. “Somehow we have to get a couple wins in a row. I told them at halftime, when the game’s on the line, we’re making the same mistakes over and over. We can’t keep doing that. We don’t have to do that. We have to keep pushing ourselves, realize why we’ve lost those games, and not let it happen again.”

Easier said than done, especially Sunday, when the Wolves travel to San Antonio to play the powerhouse Spurs.

But, Friday night, the players were more interested in savoring another one-sided bounce-back victory.

“They want to be a good team,” Adelman said. “They have to find out how they’re going to do that. We’re so close.’’

  • related content

  • BOXSCORE: Wolves 119, Charlotte 92

    Friday January 10, 2014

  • Video: Wolves Daily: Memories of bitter defeat wiped away

    Friday January 10, 2014

    Wolves wipe away memories of Wednesday's bitter loss with a 119-92 romp over Charlotte, their league-leading eighth victory by...

  • Photo gallery: Wolves 119, Charlotte 92

    Friday January 10, 2014

    The Wolves bench scored 43 points in the win over Charlotte on Friday at Target Center in Minneapolis.

  • Wolves notes: Love and teammates mend fences, try to move forward

    Saturday January 11, 2014

    Friday, Kevin Love said, the team’s chemistry was good.

  • Shabazz Muhammad gets honored after two D-League games

    Friday January 10, 2014

    Good times

  • Wolves-Charlotte game recap

    Friday January 10, 2014

    GAME RECAPImpact playerNikola Pekovic, WolvesThe big center made things tough on Al Jefferson all night, scoring a game-high 26 points,...

  • The Wolves' Kevin Martin attempted a layup with Charlotte's Gerald Henderson defending during the first half at Target Center in Minneapolis Friday.

  • Nikola Pekovic showed Charlotte Bobcats center Al Jefferson some low-post moves of his own, finishing with 26 points Friday night.

  • The Wolves’ Kevin Martin scored 19 points but ran into brief trouble in the first half when Charlotte’s Gerald Henderson blocked his path to the rim on a layup attempt.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Oakland - J. Lester 7:07 PM
Kansas City - J. Shields
Minnesota 10/2/14 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
NY Islanders 6:00 PM
NY Rangers 6:00 PM
Ottawa 7:00 PM
Carolina 7:00 PM
St. Louis
Tampa Bay 7:30 PM
Colorado 8:00 PM
Los Angeles 9:30 PM
San Jose
Fla Atlantic 10/2/14 6:00 PM
UCF 10/2/14 6:00 PM
Arizona 10/2/14 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM





question of the day

Poll: Is it the right move to replace Ron Gardenhire?

Weekly Question


Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters