Wolves can't stop rout, or laughter

  • Article by: STEVE ASCHBURNER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 15, 2007 - 10:55 PM

Golden State took care of business and had fun at the visitors' expense. Only a strong fourth quarter softened the blow on the scoreboard.

OAKLAND, CALIF. - Few teams this side of the Washington Generals have endured the sort of pounding, ridicule and general disrespect the Timberwolves have been getting lately.

And they always were in on the act with the Globetrotters.

It's one thing, late in a dead-end season, to lose to a series of playoff-bound opponents who look past you as they smack you down. It's quite another to be toyed with through a succession of slam dunks, circus plays, three-pointers and flashy fast breaks, the way the Golden State Warriors did in a 121-108 romp Sunday afternoon that was far worse.

Only a 42-15 fourth quarter, with Ricky Davis scoring half the points, spared the Wolves (32-48) from their worst defeat this season (131-102 on Jan. 21 at Phoenix). Otherwise, the home team and its fans at Oracle Arena were having a party at the guests' expense. They reveled in their athletic plays and in-your-face alley oops. They chanted "Play-offs!" and cheered whenever the L.A. Clippers-Sacramento score was flashed on the video board (the Warriors are fighting L.A. for a Western Conference berth).

When warehoused center Adonal Foyle ambled to the scorer's table to check in late, the applause got louder than ever. Then Foyle thanked them by chasing down Wolves guard Randy Foye to block, from behind, a breakaway.

Golden State (40-40) grabbed the game soon after tipoff, bothered the Wolves into 7-for-19 shooting and 10 early turnovers and led 38-22 after 12 minutes. Still, it was during the third quarter break -- Warriors up 106-66 -- when the Wolves' pride seemed most severely tested, in a month (2-6) when heads already aren't high.

"It's embarrassing to be down 40," Davis said.

"Yeah, it hurts," forward Craig Smith said. "Just got to keep fighting. It's always something to remember for next season."

Coach Randy Wittman offered no salve, though. "What are you going to do, lay down and get beat by 60? Or are you going to fight?" he said. "You shouldn't have any problem about pride. I told them that [the Warriors] are going to try to embarrass you."

Wittman leaned on Davis, Smith, Foye, Bracey Wright, Justin Reed and Mark Blount at the end, had no problem with Davis' 10 shots (he made seven) and challenged that group to get the Wolves within 20. "Did I realistically think that? No," the coach said. "So they proved me wrong."

McCants' knee hurt

Rashad McCants banged knees with Jason Richardson early in the fourth quarter and both players were done. In McCants' case, the concern is greater; he had microfracture surgery on that knee in June and missed the first 44 games this season.

The second-year guard limped off the court and later limped out of the locker room. Asked how it felt, he kept limping and muttered, "Not real good."

Forward Mark Madsen "tweaked" a hamstring in the first half and sat down. Guard Marko Jaric missed his second game because of hand injuries.

Fading out

The Wolves assured themselves of their worst post-All-Star record in 13 years.

They are 7-21 since the Feb. 18 exhibition, the worst mark since a 6-30 fizzle in 1994 -- when the All-Star Game was played at Target Center.

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