Wolves bumble, rally, fall short

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 28, 2011 - 9:27 AM

After handling the Bucks twice in preseason, the Wolves trailed in the first half before mounting a comeback that missed by a bucket.

view larger photos

  

MILWAUKEE - This time, when it counted for real, the Timberwolves once again went looking for some last-minute magic at Bradley Center and came away with nothing but a 98-95 loss to the Bucks.

Six days after they scored the game's final 12 points to win a preseason game they had no business winning, the Wolves surrendered 60 first-half points, committed 25 turnovers and trailed by 20 points in the second half and still had a chance to win when Kevin Love's last-second, game-tying three-pointer missed.

The Wolves beat the Bucks twice in the NBA's truncated two-week preseason, then went to Milwaukee on Tuesday without head coach Rick Adelman and lost both a game and maybe veteran guard J.J. Barea for a while after he injured his hamstring in the fourth quarter.

"We were just throwing the ball all over the place, terrible," said Barea, who grimaced repeatedly while getting slowly dressed afterward. "To try to come back from 20 points down in this league is just too hard."

Yet, the Wolves did, rallying from an 11-point deficit with less than six minutes left with a 15-6 run that got them within 94-92 with two minutes left before Bucks rookie and Orono's own Jon Leuer provided a crucial dunk and three-point play that repelled the Wolves for good.

"If we can play that poorly and still have a chance to win it at the end, we're going to win a lot of ballgames," All-Star forward Kevin Love said, keeping the faith after he set franchise records for free-throws attempted (24) and made (19) and record yet another 31-point, 20-rebound double-double.

On Monday, the Wolves took mighty Oklahoma City down to the final three seconds before losing their season opener before a standing-room-only crowd at Target Center.

On Tuesday, with Adelman away from the team to attend a family funeral, the Wolves didn't really compete with a Bucks team that had lost in Charlotte the night before until the game's final quarter.

The wise guys on Twitter wondered during much of the second half if Kurt Rambis wasn't subbing as the team's defensive coordinator on a night when top assistant Terry Porter replaced Adelman on the bench and the Wolves committed the kind of turnovers that drove Adelman to distraction during the preseason.

"You can turn the ball over, but not 25 in a game," Wolves point guard Ricky Rubio said. "It was more us than them. They defense well, but we hurry up a lot of times and we make a lot of stupid passes. It was hard to control the game with those turnovers."

Rubio and fellow point guards Barea and Luke Ridnour combined for 12 assists and not a single turnover in the 70 minutes total they played together Monday against the Thunder.

On Tuesday, they had 11 of the team's 25 turnovers on a night when it was a good thing -- strictly from a basketball perspective, that is -- that Adelman was far away.

During training camp, he said his new team turns the ball over better than any other team he has ever seen and wryly suggested he had petitioned the league for a new rule that would award the Wolves a point for every turnover committed.

"They denied it," he said then, "so we're going to have to play by the rules."

If those rules had been changed, Tuesday's outcome never would have been in doubt.

Afterward, Love was asked if Adelman's absence affected the game's outcome.

"Rick is a very calming influence, but that was on us tonight," Love said. "It had nothing to do with T.P. [Terry Porter] being up there. He kept us calm and collected as well. We're all out there together. They're not the ones making plays, not the ones making the turnovers and mistakes. We are."

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Detroit 69 FINAL
Philadelphia 89
Portland 94 FINAL
Cleveland 99
Sacramento 102 FINAL
Toronto 119
Boston 98 FINAL
Minnesota 110
Dallas 94 FINAL
Houston 99
Denver 93 FINAL
New Orleans 85
Brooklyn 102 FINAL
Atlanta 113
Oklahoma City 92 FINAL
New York 100
Charlotte 86 FINAL
San Antonio 95
LA Clippers 94 FINAL
Utah 89
Washington 98 FINAL
Phoenix 106
Toronto 1 FINAL(SO)
New Jersey 2
Pittsburgh 0 FINAL
Washington 4
Chicago 3 FINAL
Los Angeles 4
Temple 86 FINAL
UCF 62
Winthrop 75 FINAL
Coastal Carolina 68
Lafayette 59 FINAL
Colgate 54
Northeastern 60 FINAL
Drexel 65
Wake Forest 76 FINAL
Florida State 82
Rhode Island 64 FINAL
Fordham 63
Delaware 82 FINAL
James Madison 88
South Carolina 58 FINAL
LSU 64
New Hampshire 63 FINAL
Maine 58
Seton Hall 80 FINAL
Marquette 70
Binghamton 68 FINAL
UMBC 56
American Univ 54 FINAL
Navy 64
Elon 65 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 82
Wright State 76 FINAL
Oakland 84
Minnesota 58 FINAL
Penn State 63
Duquesne 55 FINAL
Richmond 86
SMU 63 FINAL
South Florida 52
Hartford 66 FINAL
Stony Brook 72
Albany 47 FINAL
Vermont 44
Hofstra 79 FINAL
William & Mary 100
UNC-Asheville 74 FINAL
Longwood 64
Radford 84 FINAL
Char Southern 77
Holy Cross 0 Postponed
Loyola-Maryland 0
Duke 73 FINAL
Notre Dame 77
Texas Tech 36 FINAL
Oklahoma 81
Oregon State 55 FINAL
Arizona State 73
Morehead State 82 FINAL
Austin Peay 69
Drake 69 FINAL
Bradley 57
Lehigh 62 FINAL
Bucknell 68
Rice 48 FINAL
Houston 59
Missouri State 57 FINAL
Illinois State 67
Loyola-Chicago 47 FINAL
Wichita State 58
Nebraska Omaha 64 FINAL
South Dakota St 86
Northern Iowa 59 FINAL
Southern Ill 52
Louisville 81 FINAL
Boston College 72
St Johns 74 FINAL
Creighton 77
East Carolina 58 FINAL
Memphis 70
Georgia Tech 70 FINAL
Miami-Florida 50
Miss State 73 FINAL
Ole Miss 79
Clemson 68 FINAL
NC State 57
Indiana 67 FINAL
Purdue 83
Kansas 64 FINAL
TCU 61
Oregon 56 FINAL
Arizona 90
Air Force 66 FINAL
San Jose St 52
Stanford 84 FINAL
Washington 74
Rider 56 FINAL
Siena 49
Dayton 76 FINAL
Richmond 62
Eastern Kentucky 53 FINAL
Jacksonville St 73
Saint Josephs 0 Postponed
Saint Louis 0
UMBC 71 FINAL
Binghamton 55
Akron 60 FINAL
Ohio U 72
Ball State 72 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 55
Memphis 56 FINAL
Cincinnati 44
East Carolina 32 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 87
Murray State 59 FINAL
Eastern Illinois 75
Kent State 63 FINAL
Central Michigan 65
UT Martin 64 FINAL
Tennessee St 58
Eastern Michigan 56 FINAL
Western Mich 83
Bucknell 61 FINAL
Lehigh 76
Indiana 57 FINAL
Michigan State 72
Colgate 56 FINAL
Lafayette 58
Fordham 66 FINAL
Davidson 45
Duquesne 76 FINAL
St Bonaventure 64
George Mason 66 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 70
Detroit 59 FINAL
Youngstown St 58
Army 0 Postponed
Boston U 0
Loyola-Maryland 0 Postponed
Holy Cross 0
SMU 58 FINAL
Tulsa 74
Oklahoma St 54 FINAL
Kansas State 52
West Virginia 57 FINAL
Texas Tech 73
Denver 56 FINAL
South Dakota 82
Northwestern St 46 FINAL
Central Arkansas 63
Austin Peay 67 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 87
Kansas 61 FINAL
Iowa State 56
Bowling Green 50 FINAL
Northern Ill 67
Penn State 64 FINAL
Minnesota 75
San Jose St 80 FINAL
Air Force 83
Boise State 82 FINAL
Colorado State 83
Utah State 51 FINAL
Wyoming 86
San Diego State 50 FINAL
Fresno State 57
Nevada 52 FINAL
UNLV 75
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 of these teams is the most frustrating to watch right now?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close