Wolves' clinic at the line finishes off Nuggets

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 4, 2014 - 11:38 AM

The Wolves’ 64 free throws and 52 made foul shots easily broke the team mark.

– You can quibble with how the Timberwolves got there Monday after a 132-128 victory at Denver that just never would end, but there’s no mistaking they completed the season’s longest road trip with a 4-1 record.

With six weeks left in the season and their margin of error to reach a distant playoff spot so slim, the difference between 4-1 and 3-2 on a trip that started nine days earlier in Utah means everything in the world.

“Huge difference,” Wolves forward Corey Brewer said. “We couldn’t lose tonight. If we lost tonight, it’d be tough. Every game counts from now on for us to get in the playoffs.”

The Wolves have won six of their past seven games. Monday’s victory moved them back over .500 at 30-29 for the first time since they beat New Orleans at home on Jan. 29.

They won Monday by once again scoring 40 first-quarter points that helped them build a 23-point, third-quarter lead. Then they held on tight until the very end against a Nuggets team that made four three-pointers in the final 23 seconds and chopped a nine-point deficit down to just 130-128 with 5.7 seconds to go.

Before it was over, the Wolves set franchise records for free throws attempted with 64 and made with 52. They outscored the Nuggets 52-16 at the free-throw line.

Denver welcomed back star guard Ty Lawson after nine games out because of broken rib. Lawson scored 29 of his 31 points in the second half before he and Randy Foye both fouled out.

The Wolves started the game by outscoring Denver 40-25 in the first quarter — their third time with 40 this season and the 10th time in franchise history — and the Nuggets finished it by scoring 45 points in the fourth quarter.

The Wolves shot 26 free throws in the fourth quarter alone when the Nuggets were forced to foul repeatedly.

Wolves guard Kevin Martin shot 10 of those himself, and he made each one to keep the Nuggets just far enough away. He scored 22 points, 16 on free throws.

“I’ve never seen something like that, where a team hit that many shots at the end of the game,” Wolves star Kevin Love said after delivering a 33-point, 19-rebound performance. “It was a wild finish, to say the least. It had to be some kind of record. … I kept walking to the bench like, ‘This is crazy.’ I really didn’t have any words for it.

“I guess it doesn’t matter how you do it. All that matters is if you win and we won tonight.”

Those 64 attempts are the most by an NBA team since the Los Angeles Lakers shot that many against Chicago in November 1999. The 52 made are the most since Phoenix made 61 against Utah in April 1990.

The Wolves’ 132 points scored were a season high, the third-most in franchise history and the most since they scored 140 in a two-overtime loss at Oklahoma City in March 2012.

They flew to Salt Lake City 11 days earlier to begin that five-game trip and then proceeded to win at Utah, Phoenix, Sacramento and finally Denver. The only loss came at Portland after they led by 18 points on the second part of back-to-back games.

They now play nine of their next 13 games at Target Center, starting Wednesday against New York.

“It’s big,” Love said about that 4-1 trip record. “It sounds a lot better than 3-2.”

Despite that 6-1 record in their past seven games, the Wolves still trail Phoenix and Dallas for the West’s eighth and final playoff spot by five games.

  • related content

  • BOXSCORE: Wolves 132, Denver 128

    Tuesday March 4, 2014

  • Wolves keeping tabs on Pekovic's minutes

    Tuesday March 4, 2014

    Pekovic is supposed to be on a 20- to 22-minute time limit, but coach Rick Adelman said the cumulative time isn’t as important as the duration of the stretches Pekovic...

  • Video: From the locker room: Going 4 of 5 on the road

    Tuesday March 4, 2014

    Rick Adelman, Kevin Love, Corey Brewer and Kevin Martin discuss a wild and crazy victory that gave the Wolves...

  • Wolves-Denver game recap

    Tuesday March 4, 2014

    GAME RECAPImpact playerKevin Martin, WolvesThe veteran scored 22 points, including 16 of 17 from the free throw line, eight in...

  • Wolves forward Kevin Love made a layup past Denver's Darrell Arthur.

  • Corey Brewer had to get creative when the Nuggets’ Kenneth Faried showed off his wingspan.

  • Kevin Love and the Wolves crashed the boards at Denver, but free throws told the story.

  • Kevin Love’s brush with defender Evan Fournier didn’t affect a third-quarter scoring try at Denver.

  • wolves 132, denver 128

    Up next: 7 p.m. Wednesday vs. New York • Target Center TV: FSN (830-AM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 8 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: E. Volquez 0
Minnesota 10/2/14 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
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
Dallas
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Denver
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
Washington
Washington 1 FINAL
Buffalo 6
Carolina 3 FINAL
Columbus 6
Pittsburgh 2 FINAL
Detroit 0
Montreal 3 FINAL
Chicago 1
Arizona 2 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Fla Atlantic 10/2/14 6:00 PM
FIU
UCF 10/2/14 6:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 10/2/14 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Syracuse
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
Army
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
Maryland
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
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
Akron
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Indiana
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
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
Northwestern
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Texas
(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
Clemson
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
Colorado
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
Rutgers
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rice
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
Louisiana
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Kentucky
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Virginia
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
Nevada
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Hamilton 10/10/14 6:00 PM
Toronto
Ottawa 10/11/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Vikings do Thursday in Green Bay?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

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

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close