Jerry Zgoda missed the entire Kevin Garnett era, but he's back covering the Timberwolves after working the beat for their first four seasons two decades ago. In between, he covered a bit of everything: Gopher men's and women's basketball and NCAA athletics, golf, outdoor recreation, sports media and a little Vikings and Twins.

Losing streak hits seven: Celtics 85, Wolves 82

Posted by: Jerry Zgoda under Wolves postgame, Wolves news Updated: March 28, 2011 - 2:56 AM

So has it come to this?

The noise inside a nearly full Target Center grew and grew Sunday night as the Wolves fought back from a 25-point, second-quarter deficit.

When Anthony Tolliver swatted down Kevin Garnett's shot at one end and then made a three at the other end, the sound swelled.

Then Paul Pierce answered by scoring five consecutive points for the Celtics to turn a one-point deficit into a four-point lead with 3:08 left.

And it got louder.

More than half the crowd announced at 19,000-plus Sunday wore green and cheered the visitors on a night when the Wolves played without Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic and the Celtics went without Rajon Rondo. on

"I didn't know there were that many Celtics fans here," Michael Beasley said afterward.

He does now.

The Wolves surrendered a 17-0 first-quarter run, allowed the Celtics 32 points by the end of the first quarter and trailed by as many as 25 early in the second.

They then spent the next two-pluys quarters to make it all the way back and did, but then, of course, couldn't hang on down the stretch, where Pierce made the plays when it mattered most.

Some stuff from Sunday game:

* After he averaged 27.5 points and 13 rebounds in his two starts for Love, Anthony Randolph had three points and four rebounds in less than 17 minutes because of two reasons: He picked up two fouls in the game's first three minutes and the Celtics clearly muscled him at every turn knowing he's not equipped for a physical game.

* The magic number for Beasley tonight: 28.

That's the number of shots he needed to get his 28 points.

This, though, was clearly as energized as he has been for some time. He hustled, even if he again forced things at times, and got 10 rebounds, too. His three blocks were one shy of his career high as well.

He was one reason the Wolves got back in the game.

"We kind of just woke up and told ourselves we really didn't want to get blown out," he said. "We got blown out last time we were at home (last Sunday's 33-point loss to Sacramento). We just didn't want to do that again. We just got riled up and played like men."

* Anthony Tolliver was another reason they made it again after such a lousy start. He provided the energy off the back that the starters clearly lacked. He also provided a double-double, too: With 16 points and 15 rebounds.

"He had a helluva impact on the game," Kurt Rambis said. "Rebounding the ball, shot blocking, I thought he did a terrific job, not only with his defense but with his offense, his energy. That type of play is contagious."

* Have you seen this before?: Darko again committed a turnover when the Wolves could least afford it, losing the ball out of bounds with the team trailing 81-77 with 1:21 left.

He scored 15 and had a couple more blocks, but just can' t seem protect the ball whenever he really needs to do so.

* Kurt Rambis was emotional and demonstrative tonight and seems to have been more like that recently. Maybe it was just the nature of tonight's comeback or perhaps he's feeling the need to be less Zen-like with what's on the line -- perhaps his job -- these final games.

There's eight left after tonight. This tough, tough homestand continues with Wednesday's game against Derrick Rose and the Bulls and concludes when LeBron and the Heat arrive on Friday.

After that, the Wolves go to Memphis and New Jersey, play Phoenix at home, then finish with games at Denver and Phoenix before they finish with Houston at home.

Will they win again?

If not, their current seven-game losing streak will grow to 15 by season's end.

That's it from Sunday's game.

The Wolves have an optional practice on Monday, then go back to work Tuesday to prepare for the Bulls.

I'll check back in then, unless there's any news before then.

 


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