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.

Clock's ticking: Wolves lose 119-106 at Portland

Posted by: Jerry Zgoda under Wolves postgame, Wolves news Updated: April 2, 2012 - 3:28 AM

Down four players once again, the Wolves lost for the third time in four games and for the fifth time in their last seven Sunday night in Portland, where they lost 119-106.

My, how a month changes things, huh?

Last time the Wolves were here, Ricky Rubio was the starting point guard and the Wolves appeared to be steaming toward the playoffs after beating the Blazers for the first time in 17 games.

Now with Rubio, Nikola Pekovic, J.J. Barea and Michael Beasley all out, the Wolves are limping toward the finish with that eighth and final playoff spot slipping from their sight with each passing game.

With 12 games left, they now are 3.5 games out of that eighth spot and now Portland have moved ahead of them and along with Phoenix and Utah stand between them and No. 8 Houston.

To make matters worse, the Wolves got beat partly by two guys who have a history with them:

Jonny Flynn had a season-high seven assists working the pick and rolls all night -- remember when he did that in Kurt Rambis' triangle offense? NOT! --  in a backup role and Luke Babbitt made a couple threes and scored eight points.

You probably well remember the Wolves drafted Flynn sixth overall in 2009 and traded him just two years later, giving the Rockets an extra second-round pick just so they'd accept him after an iffy physical.

As for Babbitt?

Well, he has his place in Wolves history as well and it goes like this:

The Wolves trade that 18th overall pick in the 2009 draft to Denver for a 2010 first-round pick. The Wolves take Ty Lawson for the Nuggets and the next summer the Wolves trade that 16th overall pick pick to the Blazers for Martell Webster.

The Blazers then used that pick to take Babbitt, who has spent some time in the D League during his first two seasons but has shown his shooting skills since Portland fired Nate McMillan and made a coaching change last month.

Here's the game story from Sunday's game.

The Wolves flew to Sacramento after tonight's game and will play the Kings there Monday night.

I'll check back with you pregame and we'll see if big Pek feels well enough to play.

 

 

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