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.

That's three straight: Wolves win 117-108 at Dallas

Posted by: Jerry Zgoda under Wolves postgame, Wolves news Updated: February 6, 2010 - 2:30 AM

This and that from tonight's victory at Dallas, where the Wolves led, trailed, led, trailed and finally won with a 13-2 closing flourish in the final two minutes:

* David Kahn got back from a four-day whirlwind European tour about five hours before tip-off. He went there to watch Ricky Rubio and Nikola Pevokic each play and landed in Dallas mid-afternoon, just in time to watch the Wolves with their third straight..

He watched Rubio's Regal Barcelona team lose a controversial overtime game by a point in Belgrade -- a crowded, intimidating atmosphere Kahn says has to be seen to be believed -- and watch Pekovic play for his Greek team in Athens.

Rubio helped lead his team back from an early big deficit, but then watched sat and watched at the end. Kahn said he talked briefly with Rubio after the game, but said it was friendly visit rather than substantial talk about Rubio's NBA future. He says now is not the time for that.

He and Kurt Rambis intend to go back to Europe in May to watch both players. Kahn said he liked what he saw with Pekovic, thinks he is ready to move to the NBA next season but says he and his staff need to talk and think more about just how Pekovic -- a bruising 6-11 post player around the basket, not the long, athletic type the Wolves need if they stay with the Love-Jefferson combo -- fit into the team's current frontcourt.

He also reiterated he has no intention of trading any of his "core" players -- Love, Jefferson, Flynn at the very least -- by the Feb. 18 trading deadline. I asked if that core includes Rubio and Pekovic. Rubio, yes. Pekovic? Not necessarily.

Here's tonight's notebook that has Kahn talking about the two guys and about his trip:

http://www.startribune.com/sports/wolves/83694727.html

* The Wolves are 3-0 since Kurt Rambis called his team together after they got thumped on that three-game road trip to Milwaukee, New York and Cleveland and declared their 8-38 season start behind them and a "fresh start" ahead. From that point on, he said they'd start analyzing themselves statistically against the rest of the league in several pertinent categor

Of course, those three games also have coincided with that lineup change.

* Ryan Hollins started his third straight game -- Kevin Love and Damien Wilkins came off the bench for the third straight game -- and had another productive night until he fouled out late after spending a good part of his evening trying to defend Dirk Nowitzki.

Hollins has averaged 16.6 points -- only three rebounds, though -- in those three games. And, of course, the Wolves are 3-0 in those games.

* Love's 17-point, 11-rebound game off the bench was his 25th double-double in 30 games this season.

* Nowitzki didn't start the game tonight -- the first time he hasn't since Dec. 1999, his second NBA season -- because he was late for the team's walk-thru before the game. He entered about midway through the first quarter, played 37 minutes, scored 21 points and finished the game even if he didn't start it.

* Jonny Flynn played another steady, mostly certain game; 19 points, 7 assists, 1 turnover. He has gone 8, 8 and 7 in assists in this three-game win streak.

* Corey Brewer scored 14 points, but six when they really, really counted in that closing 13-2 burst. His three-point shot answered the Mavs after Jason Kidd's two free throws put Dallas ahead 106-104 and then he made all three free throws after he was fouled by Nowitzki on a three-pointer for a 112-108 lead with 1:07 left from which the Mavs never recovered.

Who is that guy? Brewer's stroke, especially from beyond the arc, looks so assured, so smooth, so different than what we've seen from him up until the last few weeks.

The Wolves flew home after the game and play Memphis Saturday night at Target Center. Last time the two teams met, the Grizzlies won 135-110 in Memphis three weeks ago. The Grizz are going for the first series sweep over the Wolves in their history, dating all the way back to the Vancouver years. They've won all three games so far.

"We owe them," Al Jefferson said.

Here's the game story from tonight:

http://www.startribune.com/sports/wolves/83678107.html

 

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