His shoe doesn't fit, Beasley wears Love's (very) big one

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 27, 2012 - 6:39 AM

The Wolves forward had to wear a pair of Kevin Love's shoes to accommodate his sore toe.

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Michael Beasley

Photo: Jeff Chiu, Associated Press

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So who says nobody on the Timberwolves can fill Kevin Love's shoes?

Michael Beasley did in a 117-100 victory over Denver on Sunday, when he borrowed a pair of Love's size-19 sneakers because his sprained big toe was too swollen to fit comfortably into his own.

"He's got a fat foot," Beasley said. "He's like a triple E or something."

The forward played 22 minutes, scoring 11 points on 5-for-15 shooting despite a bad toe that caused him to miss Friday's double-overtime loss at Oklahoma City.

He and guard Luke Ridnour (groin, sore back) practiced Monday with their various ailments while guard J.J. Barea, center Nikola Pekovic and Love did not.

Neither Barea (thigh contusion) nor Pekovic (ankle bone spurs) accompanied the team Monday on its two-game road trip to Memphis and Charlotte.

That leaves the Wolves without two starters and a top reserve -- and with others playing injured -- as they enter their final 16 games believing they need a four- or five-game winning streak to leapfrog Phoenix, Denver and Houston and reach a playoff spot.

Does that leave them with enough healthy bodies to summon such a streak?

"That's what we have to believe," Wolves coach Rick Adelman said. "I've asked the players to believe that and I believe that's what we have to do. There are teams around this league that have had injuries and they go out and win games. That's what we have to do. We need to get some kind of winning streak here to close the gap with these other teams. It's something we have to believe and the players have to believe we can do."

Give it a rest

Love didn't practice Monday so he could rest a body that leads the NBA in minutes played.

"I feel pretty dang good for having played so many games, so many minutes in such a condensed season," he said. "I just try to get as much rest as I possibly can on days like today."

Remember when Love complained about limited minutes under coaches Randy Wittman and Kurt Rambis?

"I was talking about that last night," he said. "You'll never hear me complain about minutes again after this season."

Close, but ...

Love scored a franchise-record 51 points Friday and averaged 33.5 points and 15.7 rebounds in four games last week, but still wasn't named Western Conference player of the week. He was nominated and considered, though.

Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant won the honor, after leading the Thunder to a 3-1 record that included Friday's victory over the Wolves. He averaged 29.5 points and 10.3 rebounds.

No cavalry coming

The Wolves already have a full roster with 15 players with guaranteed contracts, which means they are unlikely to add any players because they would have to cut and pay somebody off to do that.

"We have to go with the people who are here," Adelman said.

That list of people might even include little-used centers Darko Milicic and Anthony Randolph, who have ended up on the end of the bench while others such as Anthony Tolliver and Wayne Ellington have played themselves into prominent roles in the past two weeks.

"Well, I don't know, we'll have to see," Adelman said when asked if he will need to call upon those two. "I don't think they've done the job that Tolliver and Wayne have done keeping themselves in condition. I'm probably going to have to play not both of them, but one of them. They'll get a chance and we'll find out what they can do."

By the numbers

Sunday's audience of 20,023 fans at Target Center was the Wolves' ninth sellout this season, their most since they had 14 in the 2003-04 season when they won 58 games and reached the Western Conference finals.

They have averaged more than 20,000 their past three home games, the largest three-game total since the team began playing at Target Center in 1990. Their 17,617 average this season is a 15.6 percent increase, up 2,374 a game, from last season.

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