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Postgame blog: Wolves have first winning streak since December

After Saturday’s victory, almost to a man, the Wolves pointed to their modest two-game winning streak – their first since before Christmas – as proof that this young team is starting to grow up.

Perhaps they’re right. Though it should be noted that Saturday’s victory came against a Bulls team playing on a back-to-back without leading scorer Jimmy Butler.

But, for the second straight game, the Wolves have closed out a close game with some strong play late. Saturday Andrew Wiggins – who had just 11 points through three quarters – scored 10 points in the final 12 minutes, including six straight points late to help the Wolves ice the win.

Here are some thoughts/stats from the game.

--What a night for big men Karl-Anthony Towns and Gorgui Dieng. They combined for 50 points, 30 rebounds, eight assists and four blocks tonight. They also combined for 11 offensive rebounds against a Chicago team that is one of the best in the league on the boards.

--This was just the fifth time this season the Wolves had three players score 20 or more points in the same game (Towns 26, Dieng 24 and Wiggins 21). All five have come in the last month.

--The Wolves have now matched last season’s win total (16).

--The Wolves have now won three of their last four home games.

--Dieng’s 24 points were a career high. For Towns, he now has 28 double-doubles this season. It was also his 14th game with 20 points and 10 rebounds, matching the club rookie record for such games in a single season (Christian Laettner, 1992-93).

--This was the third straight game the Wolves have shot 50 percent or better. It’s the first time they’ve done that since March 2013.

Wolves looking for some 'mo' against battered Bulls

The Wolves are back from their four-game Western trip looking to build a little momentum going into these final three games before All-Star break, starting with tonight's game against Chicago at Target Center.

The Wolves went 1-3 on that trip, but won the last game, 108-102 over a Clippers team that was rolling before Wednesday's game.

Tonight, they play a Bulls' team that is end a six-game trip hurting in all sorts of way after last night's loss at Denver. They played without Pau Gasol, Joakim Noah, Nikola Mirotic and Mike Dunleavy in that one and then saw star Jimmy Butler carted off the court after injuring his knee. The team last night called it a sprained knee.

"We played a really good game agaisnt the Clippers on a back-to-back and we want to build from there," Wolves point guard Ricky Rubio said. "We played a bad first half against the Lakers (Tuesday in Los Angeles) but did a pretty good job in the second half trying to get back in the game. Then Portland and Utah, it was a four-game trip where I felt we could have won more than one game, but we won the most difficult one and we're going to build momentum from there."

After tonight's game, the Wolves play New Orleans on Monday and Toronto on Wednesday. All three games are at Target Center before the Wolves get a nine-day All-Star break.

"It we play like we did against the Clippers -- play aggressive, sharing the ball, getting some stops at the end -- it's going to be three tough games, but I think we can win all of there of them," Rubio said.

A couple other things:

* Kevin Garnett (knee), Nikola Pekovic (foot) and Kevin Martin (wrist) all again are not expected to play tonight.

* Remember: No local TV tonight because FSN is dedicating its time and resources to broadcasting games from morning to night on Hockey Day in Minnesota. League Pass is your best bet, if you get it.

* Tonight is Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg's return to Target Center -- where he played and worked in the front office -- for the first time as an NBA head coach.

* Teammates after shootaround this morning predicted another slam-dunk title for Zach LaVine at All-Star weekend in Toronto but Rubio didn't have much faith that big Karl-Anthony Towns will fare well in the skills challenge. The NBA has invited big men Towns, DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis and Draymond Green to compete alongside the little guys on All Star Saturday next week.

"Guards are quicker," Rubio said. "That's just the way it is."

TV Listings

Local Schedule

< >
  • New Orleans at Timberwolves

    7 pm on FSN, 830-AM

  • Dallas at Wild

    7 pm on NBCSN, 100.3-FM

  • Toronto at Timberwolves

    7 pm on FSN, 830-AM

  • Michigan at Gophers men's basketball

    8 pm on BTN, 1500-AM

  • Washington at Wild

    7 pm on FSN, 100.3-FM

  • Nebraska at Gophers women's basketball

    7 pm on 1500-AM

  • Gophers men's hockey at Ohio State

    5:30 pm on BTN, 1500-AM

  • Gophers women's hockey at Minnesota Duluth

    7:07 pm

  • Boston at Wild

    1 pm on FSN, 100.3-FM

  • Gophers women's hockey at Minnesota Duluth

    4:07 pm

  • Gophers men's hockey at Ohio State

    6 pm on 1500-AM

  • Gophers men's basketball at Iowa

    6:30 pm on BTN, 1500-AM

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