Wolves: Starting no problem, but finishing? Well...

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 12, 2007 - 12:28 AM

SACRAMENTO, CALIF. - Unable to grasp a rebound, a jump ball or a break when they needed it most, the Timberwolves returned home Sunday from a two-game West Coast trip one loss shy of reaching a franchise record six-game losing streak to open a season.

That was set in 1994, the season that delivered Kevin Garnett in the NBA draft the next summer.

"We don't have a problem with coming out and competing," said Wolves guard Rashad McCants, who returned for Saturday's 100-93 loss at Sacramento after missing Friday's game in Los Angeles because of a sprained ankle. "We have a problem with finishing."

The Wolves have lost those five games by an average of 8.2 points and have been outdistanced by their opponents in free-throw attempts 202-93. On Saturday, they lost that contest 40-24.

"The officiating was great, top notch," McCants said. "The NBA does a great job. It ain't about the officiating. We've got to make them call fouls. We've got to get to the line. We've got to be aggressive with the ball. We've got to build respect around the league that we're the type of team that gets to the line.

"We haven't established that, and that's being young with no veteran-type leader who demands that respect getting those fouls. It's going to be hard."

The Wolves exacerbated their foul-shot disparity issues by allowing the Kings to grab six consecutive offensive rebounds on one possession before hitting a couple of free throws down the stretch.

"Fourth quarter, down two or three with two minutes to go, we've got to find a way to win," said McCants, who scored 16 points in 26 minutes. "They're not going to give it to us. We've got to find it."

Something Brewing

Rookie swingman Corey Brewer matched a season high in minutes with 29 and set career highs in points (16), rebounds (eight) and assists (two) and was 7-for-7 from the free-throw line, best on the team. He also defended Kings leading scorer Kevin Martin a good bit of the game.

"I'm learning to play the NBA game," Brewer said. "It's coming slowly, but it's coming."

Coach's decision

Coach Randy Wittman elected not to play veteran Antoine Walker and Gerald Green on Saturday night.

"We can't play 12 guys," said Wittman, who said he made his decision based on the night's matchups. "It's hard to play nine."

Another ankle

Forward Craig Smith left the game in the fourth quarter because of an ankle injury. X-rays were negative, but he was listed Sunday as day-to-day.

Remembering Beno

The Wolves were beaten Saturday by Martin's 29 points, by the Kings' relentless rebounding down the stretch, by Brad Miller's clinching tip-in with 10 seconds left.

They also were beaten by a former Timberwolf, Kings point guard Beno Udrih.

Who? Udrih was acquired from San Antonio in a trade the day rosters were set two weeks ago. He immediately was waived in a salary-cap bookkeeping arrangement that brought the Wolves some cash and the Spurs some cap relief. Three days later, Udrih signed with Sacramento.

On Saturday, his jump shot with 47 seconds left repelled a Wolves' comeback thrust.

"The kid made a big shot at the end," Wittman said. "Made a play. We've got to learn to do that."

  • WOLVES NOTES

    Up next: vs. Sacramento • 7 p.m. Wednesday • Target Center • TV: FSN (106.1-FM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Fla Southern 2 FINAL
Detroit 12
FIU 2 FINAL
Miami 7
Toronto 4 1st Qtr 9:30
Philadelphia 2
Golden State 6:30 PM
Brooklyn
Phoenix 6:30 PM
Miami
LA Clippers 7:00 PM
Minnesota
New Orleans 7:30 PM
Dallas
Nashville 0 1st Prd 17:10
NY Rangers 0
Carolina 7:30 PM
Chicago
Montreal 9:00 PM
San Jose
Virginia 0 1st Half 13:43
Syracuse 6
Baylor 9 1st Half 12:36
Texas 8
Hampton 6:30 PM
Delaware State
Norfolk State 6:30 PM
Howard
Bethune-Cookman 6:30 PM
NC A&T
SE Louisiana 6:30 PM
Northwestern St
Central Arkansas 6:30 PM
Sam Houston St
Lamar 7:00 PM
McNeese State
Nicholls 7:00 PM
New Orleans
NC Central 7:00 PM
Savannah State
Incarnate Word 7:00 PM
Stephen F Austin
Texas Southern 7:30 PM
Alabama A&M
Prairie View 7:30 PM
Alabama State
Jackson State 7:30 PM
Ark-Pine Bluff
Oklahoma 8:00 PM
Iowa State
Grambling St 8:00 PM
Miss Valley St
Boston College 8:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Bethune-Cookman 54 2nd Half 3:21
NC A&T 55
Hampton 76 2nd Half 1:26
Delaware State 58
Norfolk State 57 2nd Half 1:20
Howard 49
NC Central 26 2nd Half 18:44
Savannah State 41
Texas Southern 42 1st Half 1:40
Alabama A&M 26
Prairie View 16 1st Half 3:14
Alabama State 22
Jackson State 20 1st Half 6:36
Ark-Pine Bluff 23
Grambling 18 1st Half 3:40
Miss Valley St 31
Tulsa 6 1st Half 13:56
Cincinnati 4
(1) Connecticut 17 1st Half 13:50
South Florida 10
UCF 8 1st Half 16:26
East Carolina 11
Central Conn St 0 1st Half 19:38
Bryant 0
Wagner 2 1st Half 17:31
Robert Morris 7
Sacred Heart 9 1st Half 15:50
Fairleigh Dickinson 10
St Francis-NY 13 1st Half 14:20
Long Island 6
Mount St Marys 12 1st Half 15:07
St Francis-PA 17
Temple 7:00 PM
Houston
Texas Tech 7:00 PM
(6) Baylor
Iowa State 7:00 PM
Kansas
SMU 7:00 PM
Memphis
Oklahoma 7:00 PM
Oklahoma St
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which is your favorite 'return' by a Minnesota athlete?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close