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.

Posts about Wolves postgame

13th time not the charm for Wolves

Posted by: Kent Youngblood Updated: January 7, 2015 - 11:56 PM

Well, the 13th game wasn’t the charm tonight, as the Wolves fought hard but fell to the Phoenix, running their losing streak to 13 games.

Here are some final thoughts on the night:

--The killer play of the game came with 57.6 seconds left. The Wolves, down three, were coming out of a time out when Chase Budinger’s in-bounds pass was intercepted by Eric Bledsoe, who scored at the other end. It was a very bad finish to a rather strong game for Budinger off the bench.

--Mo Williams played very well tonight, but he turned his right ankle at the end of his 23-point, 11-assist game and might not be able to play Friday in Milwaukee. We’ll know more Thursday.

--Andrew Wiggins had a very strong game tonight. He hit on 10 of 16 shots and scored 25 points.

--Anthony Bennett came off the bench to score 14 points with 10 rebounds in 22-plus minutes of playing time. If he could only give that kind of energy every time……

--Shabazz Muhammad scored all 12 of his points in the third quarter.

--Starters Thad Young (6-for-18) and Gorgui Dieng (3-for-10) were a combined 9-for-28 tonight.

That’s about it for now. I’ll get back to you after Thursday’s practice.

Wolves lose 10th straight

Posted by: Kent Youngblood Updated: January 1, 2015 - 10:46 PM

Greetings for a final time from Target Center, where the Wolves just lost their 10th straight with a formula that is becoming all too familiar – a slow start followed by a late rally that comes up just short.

The Wolves continue to have defensive breakdowns that short-circuit their comeback attempts. Not enough key stops, plus some missed late free throws, translated into defeat yet again.

Here are some final thoughts on the game tonight:

--I know people are probably tired of silver linings.  But Andrew Wiggins scored 27 points tonight, out-playing Rudy Gay, who ultimately fouled out of the game. Wiggins started slowly, but had a 15-point second quarter that gave him 21 first-half points. Wiggins has scored in double figures in five straight games.

--Gorgui Dieng played very well against Sacramento center DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins had 19 points, but fouled out of the game in the fourth quarter. Dieng had 15 points and 10 rebounds. It was his seventh double-double of the season.

--It’s interesting how well Kings forward Derrick Williams plays against his old team. Tonight, getting his first start of the season, Williams scored 17 points on 6-for-10 shooting, making three of six three-point attempts. His three-pointer with 3:42 left broke a tie game.

--Troy Daniels is finding his place in the Wolves offense. He was 3-for-7 in the second half – all three baskets were three-pointers – and he finished with 11 points. He’s been in double figures in two of his last three games..

That’s about it for now. The Wolves host Utah here on Saturday.

Wolves lose 10th straight

Posted by: Kent Youngblood Updated: January 1, 2015 - 10:46 PM

Greetings for a final time from Target Center, where the Wolves just lost their 10th straight with a formula that is becoming all too familiar – a slow start followed by a late rally that comes up just short.

The Wolves continue to have defensive breakdowns that short-circuit their comeback attempts. Not enough key stops, plus some missed late free throws, translated into defeat yet again.

Here are some final thoughts on the game tonight:

--I know people are probably tired of silver linings.  But Andrew Wiggins scored 27 points tonight, out-playing Rudy Gay, who ultimately fouled out of the game. Wiggins started slowly, but had a 15-point second quarter that gave him 21 first-half points. Wiggins has scored in double figures in five straight games.

--Gorgui Dieng played very well against Sacramento center DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins had 19 points, but fouled out of the game in the fourth quarter. Dieng had 15 points and 10 rebounds. It was his seventh double-double of the season.

--It’s interesting how well Kings forward Derrick Williams plays against his old team. Tonight, getting his first start of the season, Williams scored 17 points on 6-for-10 shooting, making three of six three-point attempts. His three-pointer with 3:42 left broke a tie game.

--Troy Daniels is finding his place in the Wolves offense. He was 3-for-7 in the second half – all three baskets were three-pointers – and he finished with 11 points. He’s been in double figures in two of his last three games..

That’s about it for now. The Wolves host Utah here on Saturday.

Saunders unhappy with team's effort

Posted by: Kent Youngblood Updated: December 21, 2014 - 9:49 PM

Greetings for a final time from Target Center tonight.

The Wolves just lost a game they probably should have one. Both teams had just one December win to their credit when this thing started, and the Pacers were playing after having played in Denver Saturday night. And yet it was the Wolves that stumbled out of the gate with no energy. After the game coach Flip Saunders again questioned his team’s sense of urgency and postulated that his young players might be getting too complacent.

It won't be any easier Tuesday in Cleveland.

Here are some thoughts on the game:

--Shabazz Muhammad might have started off struggling with his shot, but he continued to work hard. And he was the reason the team was able to come back and make it a game in the second half. Before the game Saunders talked about how other teams are now focusing on stopping Muhammad, and yet he continues to score, in double figures with 21 points tonight.

--Just when you think Chase Budinger is rounding back into pre-injury shape…. He was 6-for-10 tonight for 13 points. Yes. But he also threw up two airballs late.

--Gorgui Dieng played better as the game wore on, but he struggling keeping Roy Hibbert out of the paint to start the game.

--What an up-and-down game for Zach LaVine. He plays half of the first quarter like he’s half asleep and gets benched. Then he comes out and scores nine third-quarter points, with two assists and a steal.

That’s about it for tonight. Have a great holiday season.

Kobe Bryant makes history

Posted by: Kent Youngblood Updated: December 14, 2014 - 10:05 PM

Well, that was interesting.

All people will remember from Sunday’s game is that Kobe Bryant passed Michael Jordan into third place on the league’s all-time scoring list. What I will remember is Bryant, in his 19th season, hitting the game-winning shot on Andrew Wiggins, the Wolves rookie many think has the talent to become a great player himself.

Indeed, after the game was over, Bryant said that, in Wiggins, he saw a younger version of himself. “It’s like looking at a reflection of myself 19 years ago,” he said. “It was pretty cool.’’

I’ll say. Bryant scored 26 points, 10 in the fourth quarter, including a 26-point three-pointer with 1:02 left that broke a 94-all tie.

Here are some other thoughts on the game

--How about Shabazz Muhammad? Wolves coach Flip Saunders said his sore ankle and a sore back nearly kept him out of this game. Saunders said he didn’t know he’d have Muhammad available until 10 minutes before game time. And then Bazz comes off the bench to match his career high with 28 points in less than 28 minutes played.  He was 12-for-21 shooting, had nine rebounds.

--It was a tough night for both Wiggins and LaVine. But especially for LaVine. After the game Saunders said he has to convince LaVine to use his left hand when he drives to the basket on the left side. LaVine keeps wanting to go back to the right hands. But, Saunders said, that’s where the big guys are. But LaVine has time. Saunders said it took nearly 60 games into Steph Marbury’s rookie year to get that same point across.

--Wiggins? He started strong, scoring the Wolves’ first six points. Then he started getting into foul trouble, which hampered him much of the rest of the night. At least until late; Wiggins scored six fourth quarter points as well.

--Saunders said he thinks the Wolves defense, while still a work in progress, is getting better. The Lakers shot 42 percent Sunday. That’s better than a few games ago, Saunders said, when teams were shooting 55 percent.

That’s about all for now. Have a great night and a good week. 

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