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Tuesday (Wolves on verge of ending three streaks) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand under Wolves news Updated: January 28, 2014 - 9:51 AM

As the Wolves stumbled through most of the first half of the season, showing flashes of promise but so often falling short when it mattered most, there were The Big Three stats that kept gnawing at them. They hadn't won a game decided by four points or less. They couldn't win a game when they didn't score 100 points. And they couldn't win a game that would get them over .500.

Now? Well, the Wolves are on the verge of completing a sweep of their problems in the span of one small streak.

It started with a 98-72 home victory over Utah 10 days ago, which denied fans their free Cherry Berry treats but meant the Wolves had finally won without hitting the century mark after going 0-10 in previous games in that scenario. They added another win to that ledger last night, dispatching the Bulls 95-86. Nobody will mistake these Timberwolves for a lock-down defensive team, but they at least seem more able to adapt to a slower-paced game like they had vs. Chicago.

It continued when the Wolves hit the road and defeated Golden State 121-120 in a shootout. Kevin Martin's late basket won it for Minnesota, which had been 0-11 in games decided by four points or less and had seen numerous late-game situations go awry. The Chicago game didn't end up falling into the four-point category, but it was another game in which the Wolves executed offensively and defensively in the final 90 seconds.

The last hurdle? Well, that's getting over .500. The Wolves fell to 8-8 early in the season. Since that point, they have played 10 times with a .500 record ... and lost all 10 games to fall back under that break-even mark. Included were some devastating home defeats (Dallas and Phoenix most notably). They are now 22-22 after a 3-1 road trip, and they come back home to face New Orleans on Wednesday. The Pelicans are 18-25 (7-15 in their last 22 games) and are without injured point guard Jrue Holiday. In other words, this is a game the Timberwolves should win. It's a game they really need to win if they are serious about making a big run. And furthermore, it's a win that would complete a sweep of exorcizing demons.

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