Miller surprise starter with Pekovic on mend

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 3, 2012 - 12:28 AM

Brad Miller drove the game against Kings defender Hassan Whiteside, who incidentally saw his two-year-old record for blocks by a college freshman broken by Kentucky's Anthony Davis on Monday night. As for Miller, his 11 points in the first quarter exceeded the 10 points he had scored all season prior to that.

Photo: Steve Yeater, AP

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

SACRAMENTO, CALIF. - Timberwolves center Brad Miller said farewell Monday night to the fans and the city where he played nearly six NBA seasons, unexpectedly starting at center in an appearance that was both sentimental and functional.

Wolves coach Rick Adelman decided to start Miller after promising he would play --"whether he likes it or not" -- at least some against a Kings team that starts DeMarcus Cousins at center.

Adelman coached Miller for three seasons and turned to him to start the game in his final visit at the place they used to call Arco Arena. Miller plans to retire this summer due to his age (35) and two surgeries in recent years on his worn out knees.

Miller also started in what became a 116-108 Sacramento victory because Adelman wasn't sure how much he could use Nikola Pekovic Monday. Pekovic declared himself not 100 percent healthy but still prepared to play after he missed nearly two weeks because of ailing knees.

Miller played in the frontcourt with Vlade Divac and Chris Webber on those Kings teams that contended in the West and took the Wolves to seven games in a 2004 Western Conference second-round series.

"This is a place that has meant a lot to me, basketball-wise and personally," said Miller, who still owns a home in Sacramento and plans to live there when he retires. "My daughter starts school next year. She was born out here. We've made a good life with some good friends out here."

Miller scored 11 points -- including three threes -- in his first eight minutes on the floor before Pekovic subbed in for him with the Wolves leading 24-19 late in the first quarter. Miller didn't score again, but those 11 points were one more than he had scored the entire season coming into the game.


Adelman used the occasion of Miller's last playing visit to Sacramento to remember when.

"We had so many great teams then, back when we first got him," Adelman said. "I was really fortunate because I had Vlade, I had Webber and I had him. That's three really good post players who could all the pass the ball. That makes your offense run a lot better. And back then when he was young, he could really shoot the ball, almost to the point where if he wouldn't shoot it, you'd get upset."

Pekovic is back

Pekovic played for the first time since he played 11 minutes at Golden State on March 19, finishing with 17 points on 7-for-8 shooting. He declared himself ready even though he said his legs and lungs were hurting after running for the first time before Sunday's game at Portland.

"I know I need some more conditioning," said Pekovic, who had been riding the exercise bike and elliptical training while he rested bone spurs on his right ankle. "Last night was tough. I hope today will be best. Running was the hardest thing. I get tired quick. I just need a couple days to get back to the old shape."


• While the Wolves got Pekovic back for limited minutes Monday, they continued to play without injured J.J. Barea (thigh contusion), Michael Beasley (sprained big toe) and Darko Milicic (hamstring). The Kings played without forward John Salmons (sore hip) and lost guard Marcus Thornton for the game in the first quarter because of a strained calf.

• Kings rookie guard Isaiah Thomas, the final player taken in last summer's draft, was named the Western Conference's rookie of the month for the second time this season.

• The NBA on Monday named its East and West rookies, players and coaches of the week, but will wait until Wednesday night on NBA TV to announce its players of the month. You'd think Kevin Love will be named best in the West after leading the NBA in scoring during the month with a 30.7 average, wouldn't you?

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


San Francisco 7 Bottom 7th Inning
Pittsburgh 0
Minnesota 10/2/14 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
Washington 1 FINAL
Buffalo 6
Carolina 3 FINAL
Columbus 6
Pittsburgh 2 FINAL
Detroit 0
Montreal 2 3rd Prd 10:48
Chicago 0
Arizona 2 3rd Prd
Edmonton 2
Fla Atlantic 10/2/14 6:00 PM
UCF 10/2/14 6:00 PM
Arizona 10/2/14 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Which struggling team is in the worst shape?

Weekly Question