Jerry Zgoda missed the entire Kevin Garnett era, but he's back covering the Timberwolves after working the beat for their first four seasons two decades ago. In between, he covered a bit of everything: Gopher men's and women's basketball and NCAA athletics, golf, outdoor recreation, sports media and a little Vikings and Twins.

Seen this before?: Durant, Westbrook beat Wolves 115-110

Posted by: Jerry Zgoda under Wolves players, Wolves postgame, Wolves news Updated: April 15, 2012 - 1:57 AM

The last time these teams plays, the Thunder needed 45 points from Russell Westbrook and 40 from Kevin Durant to beat the Wolves 149-140 in double overtime down OKC way.

This time, the Thunder only needed 43 from Durant -- including 20 in thhe fourth quarter alone -- and 35 from Westbrook to win it in regulation time against a cobbled-together Wolves team that was led by the unlikely trio of J.J. Barea, Michael Beasley and Anthony Randolph, who combined to score 72 of the team's points in a 115-110 loss.

Here's the game story from Saturday's game in which the Wolves again took the Thunder down to the final 15 seconds before losing...and some notes tacked along with it, too.

The loss was their ninth straight and now they have lost their last 25 April games, dating to April 2009.

Here's a couple thoughts before I go tonight because, quite frankly, I don't have a whole lot left to say about this team.

Randolph is doing exactly what he did last year: Thriving with Kevin Love out injured and the season down to a final stretch where the games don't mean anything.

He is averaging 22 points in .590 shooting  from the floor and 8.6 rebounds in three games since Love got knocked from Wednesday's game at Denver with that concussion.

Randolph had 22 points and 11 rebounds in nearly 34 minutes tonight.

So are you ready to dismiss nearly a whole season -- when Adelman didn't deem Randolph fit to play for a variety of reasons, the presence of Love and Nikola Pekovic for one thing, Randolph's inconsistency and lack of basketball IQ another and his failure to keep in top condition when he wasn't playing for a third -- and be intrigued enough by Randolph's finish to want him back next year.

He's in the same situation as Beasley: The Wolves have to extend him a qualifying offer this summer to protect the right to match any other team's offer, although Beasley's at $8 million for next season is nearly double what Randolph's will be.

Very unlikely that either gets that qualifying offer, but both still could be re-signed as unrestricted free agent for less than that, depending upon what action either of them gets from other teams on the open market.

I still wouldn't give up on either, although it'd have to be at the right price.

Remember: They're both still very young and both very easily could finally figure it oiut and get "it" in the next coming years.

The question is whether the Wolves can afford to wait for either one?

Here's a reminder of how it takes time for players to find their way in this league: Anybody remember Randy Foye?

Of course you do.

How could you forget: Foye-Roy, you remember now, right?

Now five years into the league, Foye has found his place, with his third NBA team, at age 28, alongside Chris Paul in the Clippers backcourt bound for the playoffs.

Here's my Sunday column for this week that I wrote about Foye looking back on his Minnesota years with some very honest, heartfelt stuff about those Roy-Foye comparisons that now no longer follow him because he's in L.A. for one thing, and he's still playing productively while Brandon Roy is retired at age 27 with those bad knees, for another.

That's all I've got from Target Center tonight.

Kent's picking up Monday's game in Indiana, I'm writing a piece tomorrow for Monday's paper.

Maybe I'll check back here on Sunday with some thoughts. Otherwise, Kent will pick up the blogging on Monday from Indianapolis.

 

 

 

 

 

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