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.

Durant out tonight for OKC vs. Wolves

Posted by: Jerry Zgoda under Wolves injury report, Wolves players, Wolves pre-game, Wolves news Updated: January 26, 2015 - 6:49 PM

All the injury news is not bad for the Wolves.

Yes, they lost another player on Sunday night when Robbie Hummel broke his shooting hand, but they learned before tonight's back-to-backer at Oklahoma City that Thunder superstar Kevin Durant won't play because of a big toe he sprained on his left foot yesterday in Cleveland.

Of course, that still leaves Russell Westbrook and the others.

Hummel's injury means Chase Budinger will play more and probably means Glenn Robinson III will get some playing time as well.

Flip Saunders is staying with the same big lineup he used last night in Atlanta. That means Gorgui Dieng at power forward beside Nikola Pekovic at center, with Thad Young moved over to small forward while Andrew Wiggins and Mo Williams start in the backcourt.

Kevin Martin returned to shooting and apparently shot the lights out with his limit of 100 shots. He said he is targeting his return Wednesday at Target Center if he gets another good workout in tomorrow.

Bumps and bruises hamper Wolves practice

Posted by: Kent Youngblood under Wolves practice news Updated: January 24, 2015 - 3:15 PM

The Wolves practiced Saturday before boarding a plane for Atlanta.

Well, I should say, most of the Wolves practiced. But many did not. With the team about to embark on a difficult back-to-back at Atlanta and at Oklahoma City Sunday and Monday, a number of players were unable to participate. They include:

Kevin Martin, who is still wearing a brace on his right wrist;

Anthony Bennett, whose knee is sore;

Zach LaVine, who hyper extended his elbow Friday;

Mo Williams, who had general soreness, and;

Shabazz Muhammad, who is still out with an oblique muscle injury.

Martin and Muhammad will not play in Atlanta, it appears. The others? Coach Flip Saunders said he hoped they could all go. But all those bumps and bruises prevented Saunders from giving anyone much of a break, such as Andrew Wiggins, who appears to have hit the rookie wall.

Jerry will be with the team the next two days. Have a good rest of your weekend. 

K-Martin update: Swelling delays return until at least Sunday

Posted by: Jerry Zgoda under Wolves injury report, Wolves players, Wolves pre-game Updated: January 23, 2015 - 2:51 PM

Some more on Kevin Martin's condition, according to someone close to him:

His right shooting wrist swelled up on him Tuesday and Wednesday and he had fluid drained from it on Thursday, a setback that has delayed his return from November surgery at least from Wednesday's loss against Dallas until Sunday in Atlanta at the earliest.

He noticed the wrist was not feeling right while shooting on Monday and it continued to bother him on Tuesday and swelled noticeably by Wednesday morning.

The cause of the swelling is unknown. He wore a brace on it at shootaround Friday morning and remarked to a reporter all dressed up for the night's game already, "You're more ready than I am."

He remains hopeful that Thursday's draining will resolve the issue and he'll be able to play on Sunday.

He had been targeted Wednesday as his return night until the complications arose.

Pekovic feels "better," Martin out vs. Pelicans tonight

Posted by: Jerry Zgoda under Wolves injury report, Wolves pre-game, Wolves news Updated: January 23, 2015 - 1:19 PM

Timberwolves center Nikola Pekovic declared himself feeling good after Wednesday's return to action, but Kevin Martin won't play tonight against New Orleans at Target Center.

Martin (wrist surgery) joins Ricky Rubio (sprained ankle) and Shabazz Muhammad (outer oblique strain) on the list of players ruled out for tonight's game.

Pekovic will be back on the floor after playing nearly 23 minutes in his return Wednesday. He had missed 31 consecutive games until he went 5-for-11 from the floor and had four rebounds and 14 points against Dallas.

Pekovic said he still has some pain in that troublesome ankle, but didn't sound concerned about it. He said he was surprised his conditioning was as good as it was in Wednesday's game.

"I feel better," he said. "If it's going to be like this and if I feel like this, it's going to be good. It's only one game but still today, I feel better. My foot doesn't feel sore. I still got some pain, but it's basically nothing worse than days before."

Martin wore a brace on that shooting wrist at today's shootaround and declared himself not yet ready to play. He had hoped to play sometime on a four-game trip that ended Monday in Charlotte, but hasn't advanced yet through a process he says is all about learning how to play with pain, soreness and pins inserted into the wrist with which he shoots.

His right shooting wrist swelled up on him Tuesday and Wednesday and he had fluid drained from it on Thursday, a setback that has delayed his return from November surgery at least from Wednesday's loss against Dallas until Sunday in Atlanta at the earliest.

He noticed the wrist was not feeling right while shooting on Monday and it continued to bother him on Tuesday and swelled noticeably by Wednesday morning.

* Rookie Andrew Wiggins was one of the players who toured the team's new under-construction practice facility next door to Target Center.

"It looked great," Wiggins said. "They have a great vision for it. It's laid out great. I'm excited for it."

* Zach LaVine wasn't looking too chipper today after shootaround. He went home to sleep yesterday and missed the practice-facility tour. "I'm sick," he told reporters gathered around him after shootaround. "I don't know if y'all want to be this close to me."

He said he was headed home for more sleep so he'll feel a bit better. He's expected to play.

* Pelicans star Anthony Davis, on his way to league MVP status someday, was voted an All- Star starter for the first time, in results announced Thursday evening.

He was voted a reserve last season.

"I'm just excited to be in that game, whether a reserve, starter, being voted in the game," Davis said after Pelicans' shootaround. "Playing on Sunday has always been a dream of mine....It's definitely a blessing. It don't matter if you're a starter or you're a reserve, as long as you get the opportunity to play on Sunday with so many incredible guys, the best players on the planet."

* Tonight is Dante Cunningham's first game back at Target Center since he left the team as a free agent this summer. Last April, his then-girlfriend accused him of trying to choke here. A felony domestic assault charged brought then was dropped by authorities in August. The Pelicans signed Cunningham as a free agent in December.

Yet another 20-plus-point loss for Wolves

Posted by: Kent Youngblood under Wolves postgame Updated: January 21, 2015 - 10:11 PM

Greetings for a final time from Target Center, where the Wolves just lost to Dallas 98-75.

It was an offensive clinic by the Mavericks, an offensive nightmare for the Wolves, who turned in season lows in both points and shooting percentage.After it was over coach Flip Saunders yet again talked about a lack of energy. 

Here are some final thoughts on the game:

--Nikola Pekovic played very well in his first action after missing 31 games with a sore ankle. He hit on five of 11 shots for 14 points with four rebounds in about 23 minutes of playing time.

--It appears Mo Williams’ 52-point effort a while back might have taken its toll. He is 20-for-59 in the four games since that night. His last two games? He has 15 points on 5-for-25 shooting.

--Andrew Wiggins looked a little tired tonight, too. He finished with 18 points, but needed 17 shots to do it, and he started the game 1-for-7.

--Thad Young scored 10 points in the first quarter, just four the rest of the way. He did end up with a 14-points, 11-rebound double-double.

--Are we seeing Chase Budinger slowly fade into the sunset? He got just 7 minutes of playing time tonight, going 0-for-3. With the pending return of Kevin Martin, there might not be many minutes for him.

That’s about it for now. I’ll get back to you after tomorrow’s practice. Have a good night.

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