Injured in his sleep, Love sits out Wolves win

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 14, 2012 - 8:36 AM

The Wolves' star forward awoke with a sore elbow but said he's "pretty sure it's just a 24-hour deal."

Kevin Love's going to need a bigger bed.

The Timberwolves' two-time All-Star along with starting small forward Andrei Kirilenko missed Saturday's preseason return to Target Center -- an 82-75 victory over the Chicago Bulls -- because of a suddenly sore right elbow.

Love didn't bang it or hyperextend it while playing only the first quarter Friday in Indianapolis. No, he instead slept with his right arm extended off his bed all night Friday and when he awoke Saturday morning, he said he could barely lift a basketball.

"I couldn't shoot it 10 feet," he said.

Without Love and Kirilenko (sore hamstring) available, Wolves coach Rick Adelman started Dante Cunningham at power forward and Chase Budinger at small forward and relied upon others, much as he did in Friday's 96-91 loss to the Pacers when the starters played only the first quarter.

This time, Russian rookie guard Alexey Shved stepped forth by scoring 12 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter. Nikola Pekovic played nearly 39 minutes and delivered a 16-point, 17-rebound night, the most rebounds by a Timberwolf in a preseason game since Al Jefferson had the same in 2007.

And Brandon Roy made his Target Center debut with a 27-minute, 13-point, four-assist performance in which Adelman considered putting him back in the game in the fourth quarter but decided to save that for another preseason night.

"Sooner or later, we're going to have to do that," Adelman said. "I want to do that to see how he feels. He did well. He's feeling good, which is a good sign for us."

Roy is feeling good. Luke Ridnour was feeling well enough with his stiff back to start Saturday's game and play 22 minutes.

Love, however, had no strength in that arm. Maybe he needs to get a bed like the one Jefferson, his former teammate, recently ordered in Salt Lake City: A 10-foot-by-12-foot one that cost more than $23,000.

"My bed's big enough," Love said. "Just a fluke thing. I'm pretty sure it's just a 24-hour deal."

Shooting Shved?

Shved made two important fourth-quarter threes that extended the Wolves' lead back to five points after the Bulls had pulled within a bucket.

"It's a different arena for him," Adelman said. "He stepped up and made some big plays. ... It's going to take him some time to figure out when to take his shot and when not to take it."

A new Sultan of Swat?

Cunningham took advantage of his new starting role, chasing down Kurt Hinrich early in the game and blocking his shot from behind.

That came after he had six blocked shots Friday night at Indiana, three in each of half.

"He's very active defensively," Adelman said. "That activity is what really makes him effective."

Adelman calls Cunningham and veteran Lou Amundson his "energy guys." Amundson proved that in the fourth when he blocked a Taj Gibson dunk attempt at one end and then scored on a putback dunk himself at the other with less than three minutes left.

"Those are kind of the things I do," Amundson said.

Etc.

• Ricky Rubio watched the game from a row behind his team, but Chicago's Derrick Rose, the other star point guard recovering from ACL surgery, didn't accompany the Bulls to Minnesota. Bulls starters Luol Deng and Rip Hamilton also didn't play.

• Second-year guard Malcolm Lee missed his third game because of a groin injury. Adelman said he was hopeful Lee will practice Monday.

• Maya Moore, Rebekkah Brunson and Erin Thorn were among the Lynx players who attended the game, one night before they open the WNBA Finals against Indiana at home.

• Bulls forward Jimmy Butler played all 48 minutes Saturday. Yes, in a preseason game.

• Former Wolves guard Marko Jaric got a smattering of boos when he entered the game late in the first quarter.

• The Wolves' regional scouting staff is in town for meetings through midweek.

• Agent Warren LeGarie, who represented former Wolves coach Kurt Rambis, watched the game seated between Wolves president of basketball operations David Kahn and director of player personnel/game preparation R.J. Adelman.

• The Wolves waived center/forward Phil Jones and guard Seth Tarver after the game to get their roster to 18 players.

  • WOLVES 82, CHICAGO 75 (EXHIB.)

    Up next: 7 p.m. Tuesday vs. Maccabi Haifa (exhib.) • Target Center • TV: FSN (no radio)

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