DENVER - Former Timberwolves forward Corey Brewer buried his father in Tennessee and collected his NBA championship ring in Dallas, all in the month of February.
On Monday night, he started against his former teammates in Denver.
"It has been a rough month," he said about a February in which his father, Pee Wee, died at age 68 after a long struggle with diabetes. "Some good times, some bad ones. It can only get better."
Brewer, drafted by the Wolves seventh overall in 2007, is playing for his third NBA team in five seasons. The Wolves traded him to New York last February in the Carmelo Anthony deal that brought Anthony Randolph to Minnesota. After the Knicks cut him, he signed with Dallas, where he won a title last summer while providing one vital eight-minute performance in a comeback victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.
He now owns five championship rings: One NBA, two NCAA with Florida, an AAU national title and a Tennessee state football title when he was a freshman.
"I've got a nice little ring box," said Brewer, whom the Mavericks traded with Rudy Fernandez to the Nuggets in December for salary-cap purposes. "This one feels real good. Once you get it, it really hits you."
Denver coach George Karl calls Brewer his team's "energy bunny."
"He's the guy who gets us rolling and running," Karl said. "He bounces around out there. He's kind of a wild-man, junkyard-dog defender. He has been very important to us."
No Darko, again
Often-injured Wolves center Darko Milicic played as little as a guy can play -- one-tenth of a second -- in Sunday's truly last-second victory over Philadelphia and then did not accompany the team to Denver because of what Wolves coach Rick Adelman called a stomach-muscle injury.
Milicic was used for that one-tenth of a second to bat away the 76ers' desperation lob-tip attempt as time expired.
Pekovic injures ankle
Wolves center Nikola Pekovic sprained his ankle when he stepped on somebody's foot in the first quarter. He played on it until the second quarter, but it stiffened on him and became sore when he sat down for a rest.
"It's not so bad," he said. "They [medical staff] were looking at it and didn't see nothing, just a regular sprain. I think it's not so bad. But it's tough to watch my team."
He said he'd know more how bad it is, or isn't, when he awakes Tuesday morning. Until Monday night, Pekovic looked to have a good chance of replacing injured San Antonio center Tiago Splitter in Friday's All-Star "Rising Stars" game.
• The battered Nuggets played Monday without injured center Nene (calf), forward Danilo Gallinari (sprained ankle) and Fernandez (back). They lost starting point guard Ty Lawson for the rest of the night Monday when he sprained his ankle in the second quarter.
• Rookie guard Malcolm Lee is not expected to make his NBA debut until sometime after the All-Star break. Adelman said the coaches will discuss this week whether Lee needs a second trip to Sioux Falls in the D League as he comes back from knee surgery.