Wolves lose in Portland, still can't get over the .500 hump

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 26, 2014 - 9:23 AM

The Wolves failed to get over .500 for the 10th time since Thanksgiving.

 

– Just when the Timberwolves rid themselves of one statistical anomaly, another old one popped up again with Saturday night’s 115-104 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.

One night after they won their first game decided by four points or fewer all season, the Wolves missed their 10th chance since the night before Thanksgiving to push themselves over .500 into winning territory and couldn’t do so on a night when they were battered and bruised and overmatched by the league’s most surprising success story so far this season.

“Well, it’s a back-to-back game against one of the best teams in the league,” Wolves coach Rick Adelman said afterward. “It’s not going to be an easy game.”

And it certainly wasn’t.

Adelman tried to find some rest of hurting starters Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio, but had to keep calling upon both as well as Kevin Martin for his scoring in a game when the disparity between the starters and the team’s bench proved problematic yet again.

– one that opened the second quarter, the other that arrived midway through the fourth quarter – that pushed the Blazers to their first double-digit lead and then allowed them to stretch an 89-84 lead with 10 minutes left into an 105-88 bulge with 5 ½ minutes left.

– tried to keep them close. But with Love playing on a sore knee he banged Friday in Oakland and Rubio playing on a sprained ankle sustained there as well, Adelman couldn’t keep them on the floor long enough to counter a Blazers team that got 16 points from veteran reserve guard Mo Williams as well as valuable bench contributions from Thomas Robinson and rookie C.J. McCollum.

“Just trying to stay in the game,” Adelman said.

Another Love-LaMarcus Aldridge matchup at power forward turned into what Love called “much ado about nothing,” the two nearly canceling each other out while teammates assumed center stage. Love was limited to a 15-point, 13-rebound night both because of what he called the Blazers’ commitment to take him out of the offense and by pain after he had banged knees with Golden State’s Harrison Barnes the night before.

“This morning was one of those times when you jump out of bed and you think I don’t how I’m going to play tonight,” Love said. “But you muster up the energy to get do so: Get a good meal, get a good nap and lace them up and hopefully the adrenaline flows, which I think it did for some of us.”

Afterward, Rubio sat at his locker soaking his ankle in ice while his left hand was wrapped in ice as well as he said he hurt it Friday in Oakland. He played 37 minutes, Love 36 and Martin more than 41 when Chase Budinger was the only reserve who played more than 12 minutes and that was due in part to Corey Brewer’s early foul trouble.

Backup guard J.J. Barea played fewer than 11 minutes, not because, according to Adelman, of a bruised back sustained Friday but rather because Adelman felt he needed to keep his starters on the floor to stay in the game.

“Hanging in there, you know,” Rubio said about his physical condition. “This is the NBA. You play almost every night and when you get hurt, either you sit down or you give whatever you have. I did tonight. I was feeling good. I keep playing.”

The Wolves haven’t been over .500 since they were 8-7 on Nov. 23. Ten times since then, they have pushed their way to even and each time they have fallen back.

“It was tough today against a good team after back-to-back,” Rubio said. “We’re not looking where we’re at instead of our record. We just to get every night and play good and the record is going to come.”

________________________________________

  • related content

  • BOXSCORE: Portland 115, Wolves 104

    Sunday January 26, 2014

  • Souhan: Love can lead in stats, but can he lead the Wolves?

    Sunday January 26, 2014

    The All-Star Wolves forward is another local star struggling to lead a team to the playoffs.

  • Video: In the Locker Room: Wolves 3-game winning streak ends

    Sunday January 26, 2014

    Rick Adelman, Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love discuss 115-104 loss at Portland that ended a 3-game winning streak

  • Wolves notes: Rubio, Love, Barea play through pain

    Sunday January 26, 2014

    Starters Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio and backup point guard J.J. Barea played in Saturday’s 115-104 loss to the Trail Blazers after each came off the court limping the night before.

  • NBA Sunday Insider: Adelman a fan of Utah's Sloan

    Saturday January 25, 2014

    Earlier this month, Adelman taped a personal five-minute testimonial about his friend and competitor, calling Sloan the opposing coach he always respected most because his teams always were tough-minded and...

  • Wolves-Portland game recap

    Sunday January 26, 2014

    GAME RECAPImpact playerMo Williams, PortlandHe led the way for a Trail Blazers second unit that dominated Wolves reserves, scoring 16 points...

  • Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge, right, battles for position with Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Houston 23 FINAL
Pittsburgh 30
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 98 FINAL
Cleveland 107
New Orleans 88 FINAL
Washington 84
Milwaukee 120 FINAL
New York 107
Philadelphia 88 FINAL
Brooklyn 99
Charlotte 114 FINAL
Atlanta 117
Sacramento 99 FINAL
San Antonio 106
Memphis 103 FINAL
Dallas 108
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Arkansas State 7:00 PM
Louisiana
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Are you happy to see the Royals in the World Series?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

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

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close