Wolves' big lead in Big Easy doesn't last

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 8, 2014 - 7:21 AM

They were up nine in the fourth quarter before the wheels came off.

– Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman predicted the season’s third meeting with the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night would be different from the first two times, when his team won at Target Center.

He was regrettably right about a 98-91 loss to the Pelicans, a loss in which Wolves star forward Kevin Love returned to the starting lineup after sitting out a game.

Leading by 12 points late in the third quarter and by nine with 10 minutes left, the Wolves’ offense disappeared once again down the stretch. They scored only two baskets during a nearly eight-minute stretch after taking a 75-66 lead with 10 minutes remaining.

New Orleans went on a 23-7 run after that, led by reserve guard Anthony Morrow’s perfect three-point shooting, Eric Gordon’s scoring and newly named All-Star forward Anthony Davis’ physical presence over the next seven minutes. The Wolves were outscored 37-20 in the fourth quarter.

Morrow made all three three-pointers he attempted in the final quarter and Gordon scored all of his nine fourth-quarter points in that run. The Pelicans took an 89-82 lead with 2:40 left, and the Wolves never recovered.

The Pelicans shot 65 percent in the fourth quarter — including 5-for-7 on threes — to the Wolves’ 33 percent (6-18). That fourth quarter presented the same sort of themes that have cost the Wolves games all season.

They are again two games under .500 at 24-26 and fading from playoff contention, 5½ games behind Dallas for the West’s eighth and final playoff spot.

“I don’t think we played well together,” Adelman said. “We’ve got to find a way to trust each other better than that. We were forcing everything. We just have to be stronger. We can’t expect officials to bail us out, and I thought a few times that’s what we tried to do.”

Ricky Rubio’s three-pointer got the Wolves within 89-85 with 2:17 left, but Morrow answered with a wide-open three of his own. When the Wolves got within 94-91 in the final minute, Pelicans point guard Brian Roberts responded by making a long two-pointer with 22.9 seconds to go that sealed the game.

But the Wolves very well might have lost the game in the fourth quarter’s opening minutes rather than its closing minutes.

“We have to learn how to win those games,” Rubio said. “Ten [points] up in the fourth quarter, we just have to lock down and play some D. We didn’t do it tonight. We have to learn from that, but it has been a lot of games like that already.”

The Pelicans started their comeback from 75-66 down with 10 minutes left against a Wolves second unit that has struggled most of the season trying to keep up with what the team’s starters produce.

By the time Adelman started to bring the starters back into the game by subbing Love back in with 8:43 left, the Wolves’ lead was down to 75-73. By the time Rubio returned midway through the quarter, the Pelicans led by three.

Adelman was asked if stuck with the second unit too long.

“I don’t know,” Adelman said. “I’ll have to look and see. I don’t know, yeah, we lost the game so I guess I did something wrong.”

Love finished with 26 points and 19 rebounds, playing 35-plus minutes and working his way to the free-throw line for more shots — 17-16 — than the entire Pelicans team took all night. He vowed to play in this game even though he said he still was feeling the effects from a nasty fall he took late in Tuesday’s victory over the Lakers at Target Center, a fall that sidelined him for Wednesday’s loss at Oklahoma City.

Following the game, he spent time on the trainer’s table, consulting with a Pelicans team doctor before he returned to the locker room and called himself battered and bruised but otherwise seemingly all right.

“I thought he was going out of the game at one point and then he came back in,” Adelman said. “I don’t know, we’ll see how he is tomorrow.”





 

  • related content

  • BOXSCORE: New Orleans 98, Wolves 91

    Friday February 7, 2014

  • Gameday preview: Portland at Wolves

    Friday February 7, 2014

    wolves gameday7 p.m. VS. Portland • target center • fsn, 830-AMPreview: After Friday’s 118-113 overtime loss at Indiana, the...

  • Love returns to Wolves lineup, ignoring pain

    Saturday February 8, 2014

    Kevin Love returned to the lineup for Friday’s game at New Orleans after he missed Wednesday’s loss at Oklahoma City because his neck was too stiff and his back and...

  • Wolves-New Orleans game recap

    Friday February 7, 2014

    GAME RECAPImpact playerAnthony Davis, PelicansThe All-Star power forward scored 26 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.By the NUMBERS37 Points in the...

  • New Orleans Pelicans power forward Anthony Davis (23) goes to the bask...

  • Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love goes to the basket in front of New Orleans Pelicans center Alexis Ajinca (42) in the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Friday, Feb. 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

  • Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry in action against the Chicago Bulls during an NBA basketball game on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014, in Oakland, Calif. Golden State won 102-87. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • New Orleans Pelicans power forward Anthony Davis (23) goes to the basket in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves in New Orleans, Friday, Feb. 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

  • Golden State Warriors' Andrew Bogut, left, blocks the shot of Minnesota Timberwolves' Ricky Rubio (9) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 24, 2014, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

  • NEW ORLEANS 98, WOLVES 91 Up next: 7 p.m. Saturday vs. Portland • Target Center • TV: FSN (830-AM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Toronto 104 FINAL
Indiana 91
Cleveland 103 FINAL
Detroit 95
Milwaukee 109 FINAL
Miami 102
Memphis 109 FINAL
Dallas 90
Chicago 113 FINAL
Golden State 111
Washington 98 FINAL
LA Lakers 92
NY Rangers 1 FINAL
NY Islanders 4
Arizona 3 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 4
Winnipeg 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 5
Washington 3 FINAL
Columbus 4
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL
Carolina 4
Dallas 2 FINAL
Montreal 3
Detroit 5 FINAL
Florida 4
Colorado 3 FINAL(OT)
Nashville 4
Buffalo 1 FINAL
Calgary 4
Minnesota 2 FINAL
Edmonton 1
Anaheim 4 FINAL
Vancouver 0
Ball State 47 FINAL
Akron 59
Northern Ill 46 FINAL
Bowling Green 56
Western Mich 71 FINAL
Buffalo 77
Ohio 40 FINAL
Eastern Mich 76
Xavier 66 FINAL
Georgetown 53
Vanderbilt 62 FINAL
Georgia 70
West Virginia 65 FINAL
Kansas State 59
Central Mich 53 FINAL
Kent State 63
Saint Josephs 48 FINAL
La Salle 53
Nebraska 44 FINAL
Michigan 58
Miami-Ohio 65 FINAL
Toledo 70
Tulsa 62 FINAL
Tulane 55
George Washington 48 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 72
Pittsburgh 67 FINAL
Virginia Tech 70
Indiana State 78 FINAL
Evansville 89
Tabor College 53 FINAL
Oral Roberts 94
Florida 52 FINAL
Alabama 50
Tennessee 64 FINAL
Arkansas 69
Texas A&M 71 FINAL
Auburn 61
Baylor 53 FINAL
Oklahoma State 64
DePaul 0 Postponed
Providence 0
Michigan State 0 Postponed
Rutgers 0
Wyoming 44 FINAL
Utah State 56
Fresno State 47 FINAL
San Diego St 58
UNLV 67 FINAL
Nevada 62
SD Christian 54 FINAL
CS-Bakersfield 79
Colorado State 78 FINAL
Boise State 82
Temple 71 FINAL
UCF 54
Campbell 42 FINAL
Presbyterian 51
Coastal Carolina 65 FINAL
High Point 73
Gardner-Webb 49 FINAL
Radford 59
UNC-Asheville 58 FINAL
Liberty 62
Winthrop 63 FINAL
Longwood 62
Columbia International 33 FINAL
Charleston Southern 74
Tulane 63 FINAL
Houston 46
(3) Baylor 89 FINAL
TCU 67
Navy 49 FINAL
American Univ 59
Valparaiso 42 FINAL
Illinois-Chicago 60

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: What chance does the Wild have of making the playoffs?

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