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.

Cunningham joins team, plays and starts for injured Love in Orlando

Posted by: Jerry Zgoda under Wolves players, Wolves news Updated: April 5, 2014 - 6:37 PM

Wolves forward Dante Cunningham has joined the team in Orlando for tonight's game against the Magic.

Coach Rick Adelman said Cunningham will play and he not only played, he started when Kevin Love was a late scratch because of back spasms following last night's double-overtime victory at Miami.

According to the NBA's labor agreement with its players, Cunningham has a right to go back to work while the legal process plays out in his felony domestic assault charge submitted Friday in Hennepin County Court.

Cunningham declined comment through a team spokesman and almost certainly will not say anything about it while the process progresses.

The NBA doesn't discipline players for their legal matters until a player pleads guilty or is found guilty.

Other news tonight:

* Nikola Pekovic again won't play tonight and with the clock ticking on the season's end, it's getting more and more likely with each passing game that he doesn't play again this season. If he's still going to have to play through pain, what's the point?

* Chase Budinger will start in Kevin Martin's place at shooting guard.

Martin will miss his second consecutive game because of what he calls a shooting pain in his heel that started bothering him after Wednesday's Memphis game.

Budinger is the better fit against Magic guard Arron Afflalo rather than J.J. Barea, who started last night in Miami.

* Shabazz Muhammad won't play tonight because of what he called a sprained knee injured Friday in Miami when Chris Andersen fell into his leg.

Muhammad said he's hopeful the injury heals in a matter of days, but there's not many days left.

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