Rubio saves his very best for last: The fourth quarter

It seems that just about every time the Timberwolves play, point guard Ricky Rubio does something worth noting.


Ricky Rubio got some love from Kevin Love after drawing a foul against Houston on Saturday. Rubio had 13 points and 11 assists.

Photo: David Joles, Star Tribune

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It seems that just about every time the Timberwolves play point guard Ricky Rubio does something worth noting.

Rubio entered Saturday's game against Houston having amassed 28 assists and just two turnovers in the second half of his past five games. Against Houston, Rubio scored eight of his 13 points and got five of his 11 assists in the second half. He did commit two turnovers. Still, in his past six second halves Rubio has 33 assists and four turnovers.

Clearly, he already is a clutch performer. Late in Friday's victory at New Jersey, Rubio made play after play and then grabbed a deflected ball -- this after he'd been screened out of a play the Nets ran to get a final shot that could have tied the score.

On Friday, Rubio re-entered the game with 4:08 left in the fourth quarter and the Wolves up by eight. After the Rockets turned J.J. Barea's turnover into Kyle Lowry's driving layup, Rubio hit Kevin Love for a three-pointer and, on the next possession, drove the lane to score and push the Wolves' lead to nine.

"One thing about him is he doesn't quit," Wolves coach Rick Adelman said. "He got really hammered on that last play [in New Jersey], but he didn't quit. He spun off and he ends up getting the ball. He's done that so many times. That's just who he is. He's such a competitor, and he just keeps playing."

Rubio showed that again Saturday.

"If the game's on the line, he'll raise his level," Adelman said.

Rubio tied his career high with six steals in New Jersey. He got three more Saturday. It was his 13th game (out of 24) with three or more steals.

Rubio also got his 11th points/assists double-double Saturday, tied for the league lead with Deron Williams of New Jersey. Saturday also marked Rubio's 12th game with 10 or more assists. The Wolves are 9-5 when he starts.

Nothing to prove

Rubio meets with the media before nearly every road game -- a one-shot deal to satisfy so many requests for his time -- and patiently answers mostly the same questions over and over again, including the one about his suspect shooting.

"I don't want to show anybody nothing," he said Friday in New Jersey. "I know what I can do. What I'm able to do and I'm working hard to do it. People can talk about my shooting. I know I have to improve a lot, but it's in my mind. I don't need to show, to prove anybody."

Still, he is proving a few things. In his past six games Rubio is shooting 25-for-57 (44 percent) from the field. He is shooting 39 percent overall, and 35 percent on three-pointers.

The next step?

The big talker out of Saturday's game came in the third quarter, when Love stepped on the face and chest of Luis Scola on his way up the court. Videos of the event were on the Internet before the game was over. Afterward Love apologized to Scola and said it was not intentional but was the result of his stumbling as he went to run up the court.

Love should know shortly whether the NBA agrees. If Love is to be disciplined, the decision will be made before the Wolves' next game, which is Tuesday against Sacramento.


• The Wolves are 9-5 vs. the Western Conference after going 7-45 against the West last season.

• The Wolves are 8-4 in their past 12 games, the franchise's best 12-game stretch since it opened January of 2009 with a 10-2 run.

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Team Irvin 7:15 PM
Team Carter
Miami 96 FINAL
Chicago 84
Oklahoma City 7 1st Qtr 6:11
Cleveland 11
Dallas 5:00 PM
New Orleans
Indiana 5:00 PM
LA Clippers 5:00 PM
Minnesota 5:00 PM
Detroit 6:00 PM
Milwaukee 6:00 PM
San Antonio
Boston 7:00 PM
Golden State
Washington 7:00 PM
Houston 8:30 PM
LA Lakers
Team Toews 4:00 PM
Team Foligno
South Florida 53 FINAL
Connecticut 66
Boston College 64 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Virginia 50 FINAL
Virginia Tech 47
Indiana 70 FINAL
Ohio State 82
Stony Brook 45 2nd Half 7:29
Binghamton 44
Cincinnati 42 2nd Half 8:40
UCF 39
Maine 64 2nd Half 2:02
Hartford 57
Monmouth 58 2nd Half 3:25
Manhattan 63
Fairfield 44 2nd Half 6:27
Marist 53
Rowan 48 FINAL
Princeton 96
St Bonaventure 45 2nd Half 4:28
Rhode Island 46
Duke 49 2nd Half 11:27
St Johns 57
Saint Peters 67 2nd Half 0:43
Siena 53
Drake 35 2nd Half 5:18
Wichita State 68
Vermont 52 2nd Half 3:28
UMass Lowell 48
Seton Hall 19 1st Half 3:00
Butler 28
NJIT 21 1st Half 0:33
South Alabama 31
Northern Iowa 3:00 PM
Illinois State
Louisville 3:00 PM
UMBC 3:30 PM
Niagara 3:30 PM
Notre Dame 5:30 PM
NC State
Belmont 5:30 PM
Tennessee St
Creighton 6:00 PM
Northwestern 6:30 PM
Washington 7:30 PM
Senior-North 34 FINAL
Senior-South 13
Seton Hall 99 FINAL
Georgetown 85
St Johns 69 FINAL
Villanova 81
Arkansas 58 FINAL
Florida 72
Maine 56 FINAL
Vanderbilt 55 FINAL
Alabama 52
Lafayette 60 FINAL
Lehigh 65
Drake 79 FINAL
Evansville 62
UCF 49 2nd Half 8:55
SMU 38
Utah 51 2nd Half 3:38
Washington 57
James Madison 73 2nd Half 0:23
Coll of Charleston 53
Delaware 21 2nd Half
Drexel 32
Hofstra 55 2nd Half 2:45
William & Mary 57
Hartford 53 2nd Half 7:17
Albany 61
Binghamton 51 2nd Half 1:30
Stony Brook 65
Towson 37 2nd Half
UNC-Wilmington 30
Wake Forest 61 2nd Half 7:48
(17) Florida State 86
Georgia Tech 59 2nd Half 1:26
Virginia 56
(22) Georgia 46 2nd Half 4:25
(5) Tennessee 51
Iona 44 2nd Half
Canisius 32
Fairfield 16 2nd Half
Monmouth 28
Northwestern 67 2nd Half 6:04
Penn State 64
Wisconsin 62 2nd Half 2:35
Michigan State 71
Ohio State 62 2nd Half 3:05
Purdue 60
Northern Iowa 53 2nd Half 3:36
Indiana State 50
Butler 36 2nd Half 15:55
Xavier 37
Creighton 27 1st Half 3:19
Marquette 31
Northeastern 28 1st Half 4:25
Elon 23
(2) Connecticut 48 2nd Half
Cincinnati 13
Oregon 32 2nd Half
Arizona 29
NC State 25 1st Half 3:13
(23) Syracuse 25
(7) Maryland 36 1st Half 4:09
Indiana 21
Illinois State 11 1st Half 6:24
Missouri State 21
Colorado 3:00 PM
Washington St
Tulane 3:00 PM
South Florida
(14) Kentucky 3:00 PM
Providence 3:00 PM
(9) Oregon State 3:00 PM
(13) Arizona State
Bradley 3:00 PM
Vermont 3:30 PM
UMass Lowell
Iowa State 3:30 PM
(8) Texas
Southern Ill 3:45 PM
Wichita State
(15) Duke 4:00 PM
(12) North Carolina
Miami-Florida 4:00 PM
(4) Louisville
(21) Minnesota 4:15 PM
(25) Rutgers
California 5:00 PM
(11) Stanford 7:00 PM
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