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

Wolves comeback comes up short

Posted by: Kent Youngblood Updated: February 11, 2015 - 10:47 PM

After the game was over nobody in the Wolves locker room was prepared to claim a moral victory after the team rallied from a 14-point, fourth-quarter deficit to tie the game twice before losing 94-91,

I think that’s a good thing.

Instead, one veteran after another – led by Ricky Rubio – lamented the poor start by the team. Whether that was due to a team filled with many players who very much need the upcoming All Star break or with too many young players who have yet to learn the need for consistent effort remains to be seen. But Wednesday, in an exciting fourth quarter, the Wolves stood toe-to-toe with a very good team.

Some thoughts on the game:

--In a way, it’s too bad Andrew Wiggins is going to be busy this weekend. He could use a little rest. Coach Flip Saunders said so after the game, and Wiggins is clearly showing the wear of playing so many minutes in his first season. Wiggins was 3-for-7 for six points in 38-plus minutes tonight.

--Kevin Martin continues to shoot the ball very well. He scored another 21 points tonight, making three of five three-pointers. It was his second straight game with three or more three-pointers made.

--Nikola Pekovic finished the game with 17 points and 13 rebounds, his sixth double-double this season. His 13 rebounds were the most since he returned from injury Jan. 21. He’s averaging 14.6 points and 6.5 rebounds since his return.

--Rubio’s 18 points and nine rebounds were both season highs. He also hit two three-pointers. He is 6-for-13 on three-pointers since his return from injury.

That’s about it for now. See you after the break.

Wolves have first three-game winning streak of the season

Posted by: Kent Youngblood Updated: February 8, 2015 - 8:47 PM

Greetings for a final time tonight

Well, the Wolves have their first three-game winning streak since March of last year. And they did it tonight without Ricky Rubio. Pekovic was wonderful tonight on offense, banging with big Andre Drummond, scoring a season-high 29 points, with 15 coming in the fourth quarter.

Here are a few notes from tonight’s game:

--I’m told this was the fourth time Pekovic has scored 15 points in one quarter.

--I continue to be impressed with Kevin Martin’s complete game. He worked really hard tonight, played 42 minutes. He worked very hard on offense, scored 24 points – seven in the fourth quarter – and had a season-high nine rebounds.

--After the game coach Flip Saunders praised Anthony Bennett for his play. The box score will show he only played 16½ minutes and only scored two points. But he got five rebounds, passed the ball well and avoided taking those long two-pointers. He was a big part of the Wolves being able to close this game out.

--Andrew Wiggins had a strong night, scoring 18 points, getting eight rebounds and five assists. Very well-rounded game. He had a block, too.

--Gorgui Dieng is going to need to add some strength and heft to go toe-to-toe with the likes of Andre Drummond. Dieng was largely ineffective tonight.

That’s about it for now. Jerry will pick up the team tomorrow, when the Wolves will go for four straight against the Hawks at Target Center.

Rubio-led Wolves win at home

Posted by: Kent Youngblood Updated: February 4, 2015 - 10:58 PM

Seems all I do is cover Wolves victories.

Joking, joking.

But tonight’s come-from-behind victory was a lot of fun to watch. It was also the first time the Wolves had rallied from a double-digit fourth-quarter deficit to win a game in nearly 27 months. Ricky Rubio was very good in his first home game back at Target Center since spraining his left ankle months ago. But this one was a team effort. The comeback was started with Rubio on the bench.

But it was Rubio who helped finish it.

Here are some observations on the game:

--This was Kevin Martin’s 80th career game with 30 or more points, his fourth this season. He was very, very good, with some key three-pointers in an otherwise difficult third quarter.

--Thad Young really came to play in the fourth quarter when he was part of a group – Gorgui Dieng was another key cog – that helped the Wolves finally control the boards. Young finished with 16 points and is averaging 17.2 points on 48.4-percent shooting over his last 11 games.

--Dieng had the first four points of that fourth-quarter comeback and he finished with 13 points on 4-for-5 shooting and nine rebounds. He had seven points, six rebounds and a block in the fourth quarter.

--The Wolves have won two of their last three home games after losing 10 straight.

--Tonight was just the fifth time this season the Wolves have shot better than 50 percent.

That’s about all for now. I’ll get back to you after tomorrow’s practice. 

Rubio-led Wolves win at home

Posted by: Kent Youngblood Updated: February 4, 2015 - 10:58 PM

Seems all I do is cover Wolves victories.

Joking, joking.

But tonight’s come-from-behind victory was a lot of fun to watch. It was also the first time the Wolves had rallied from a double-digit fourth-quarter deficit to win a game in nearly 27 months. Ricky Rubio was very good in his first home game back at Target Center since spraining his left ankle months ago. But this one was a team effort. The comeback was started with Rubio on the bench.

But it was Rubio who helped finish it.

Here are some observations on the game:

--This was Kevin Martin’s 80th career game with 30 or more points, his fourth this season. He was very, very good, with some key three-pointers in an otherwise difficult third quarter.

--Thad Young really came to play in the fourth quarter when he was part of a group – Gorgui Dieng was another key cog – that helped the Wolves finally control the boards. Young finished with 16 points and is averaging 17.2 points on 48.4-percent shooting over his last 11 games.

--Dieng had the first four points of that fourth-quarter comeback and he finished with 13 points on 4-for-5 shooting and nine rebounds. He had seven points, six rebounds and a block in the fourth quarter.

--The Wolves have won two of their last three home games after losing 10 straight.

--Tonight was just the fifth time this season the Wolves have shot better than 50 percent.

That’s about all for now. I’ll get back to you after tomorrow’s practice. 

Martin leads Wolves to victory in his return

Posted by: Kent Youngblood Updated: January 28, 2015 - 10:33 PM

Before making his return for the first time in 35 games Kevin Martin was asked about his conditioning. He joked that, if he was making his shots, he wouldn’t feel tired.

Maybe that’s why he looked so good in the fourth quarter tonight, when he scored 12 of his 21 points, including a stretch when he helped put the Wolves in control for good by scoring nine straight.

For the first time in a while, at least for me, this was an interesting team to watch. I know I covered that win in in Indiana, when Mo went off. But that was all about one player going crazy. Tonight the ball moved, seven Wolves players scored in double figures and you started to get an idea how this team is going to attack people on offense when it’s finally completely healthy. Here are some thoughts on the game:

--Martin’s return did not take away from Andrew Wiggins’ opportunities. It only made some things easier for him. Especially in the fourth quarter when, after Martin had scored a bunch of points in a row, Wiggins was suddenly finding room to score six fourth-quarter points of his own.

--How about Lorenzo Brown. Signed to a 10-day contract today, with only a walk-through with the Wolves, he went out and played 24 minutes and scored 11 points. He played the point well enough that coach Flip Saunders left him on the floor for all 12 minutes in the fourth quarter. And this after Zach LaVine had been so good in the third. Flip loves those grinders who work their way up from the minor leagues.

--The 26-plus minutes Nikola Pekovic played tonight is a good number. It came after he had averaged about 33 minutes per game in his last two.

--Gorgui Dieng had a very, very strong night with his 12th double-double to go with three blocks and an assist. He had 14 rebounds to go with 16 points.

--LaVine had 17 points, six assists and three steals tonight. All in 24 minutes of playing time.

That’s about it for now. Have a good rest of your night.

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