Wolves rally without injured Love

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 4, 2013 - 6:25 AM

J.J. Barea came up big down the stretch after the All-Star forward had to depart in the third quarter with the Wolves down 10.

DENVER - Trailing by 10 in the third quarter when Kevin Love went to the locker room again clutching that troublesome right hand, the Timberwolves reversed course abruptly from just 24 hours earlier and won 101-97 over Denver, a team that just doesn't lose at home.

Well, OK, now the Nuggets have lost twice in 12 games at Pepsi Center.

Tuesday, Denver ended the Los Angeles Clippers' 17-game winning streak at their arena a mile high. Thursday, the Wolves played on without their All-Star forward and resident lightning rod after Love sprained a finger in the same shooting hand he broke in October.

And they thrived while he underwent X-rays that came out negative, erasing most of that 10-point deficit by the end of the third quarter and then outscoring Denver 32-27 in a final quarter when they improved their transition defense and actually made some clutch three-pointers.

Wolves coach Rick Adelman called Thursday's game a test of his team's resolve after Wednesday's putrid 22-point loss at Utah.

"See how you respond, and we responded pretty good," he said. "It's one of those games that you don't expect with everything that's gone on, go on a trip to Utah and Denver and they're rested and we come in and win."

Love returned to the bench in the fourth quarter and told Adelman he could play, even though he couldn't shoot with his right hand. So Adelman went elsewhere, depending on Dante Cunningham, Derrick Williams and J.J. Barea for all or much of the fourth quarter.

Cunningham and Williams provided the transition defense, and offensively the Wolves cleared the floor for Barea and got out of his way. He scored 12 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter.

Backcourt mate Luke Ridnour and Barea hit consecutive three-pointers that turned a 91-91 tie with 3:09 left into a 97-91 lead with 1:54 remaining that the Wolves never lost.

The NBA's worst three-point shooting team when the night began, the Wolves made those two threes in the fourth, five in the second half and six on the night, a success rate that Adelman afterward called "amazing."

"It's way easier when you score some three-pointers," said center Nikola Pekovic, who played little in the fourth quarter because he had five fouls.

Denver coach George Karl raves about Barea before nearly every game, marveling at his fearlessness, and he did so again Thursday night after watching the smallest player on the floor get to the basket time and again.

Adelman, too, was impressed about a 5-9 player -- the world's smallest shooting guard -- who went 1-for-8 and saw his double-digit scoring streak end at 13 games in Wednesday's loss.

"He was unbelievable," Adelman said. " He's so tough. He just keeps dogging people and keeps getting there."

Love appeared to sprain the third metacarpal in his right shooting hand. That's one of two bones he broke in October, when he said he fractured them while doing knuckle pushups.

His shooting woes continued Thursday, as he shot 4-for-13 but also had 17 rebounds in 23 1/2 minutes. He declined to speak to reporters after the game.

"Obviously, he's a big part of what we do," Ridnour said. "But we were able to get out, run some pick-and-rolls, get some stops. Our defense picked up and we got some big stops off their transition."

Said Karl: "I think Minnesota at times plays better without Love. They're kind of a machine-like offense. They give guys different opportunities. But they're pretty good."

The victory lifted the Wolves back above .500 at 15-14, even though young stars Love and Ricky Rubio have been mostly footnotes at best this season.

"It means a lot," Pekovic said of the victory. "It shows we can play against anybody."

  • WOLVES 101, DENVER 97

    Up next: 7 p.m. Saturday vs. Portland •

    Target Center • TV: Ch. 29 (830-AM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Arrieta 2 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: D. Axelrod 7
NY Yankees - LP: S. Kelley 2 FINAL
Detroit - WP: P. Coke 3
Colorado - LP: J. Lyles 1 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: Y. Petit 4
Tampa Bay - LP: K. Yates 4 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: A. Miller 5
Atlanta - WP: M. Minor 6 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: J. Niese 1
Cleveland - WP: C. Carrasco 3 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: J. Danks 2
Minnesota - WP: A. Swarzak 11 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: B. Chen 5
Texas - LP: R. Mendez 2 FINAL
Houston - WP: C. McHugh 4
Oakland - LP: R. Cook 3 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: F. Salas 4
Atlanta 24 FINAL
Jacksonville 14
Detroit 23 FINAL
Buffalo 0
Indianapolis 7 FINAL
Cincinnati 35
Kansas City 14 FINAL
Green Bay 34
NY Jets 7 FINAL
Philadelphia 37
St. Louis 13 FINAL
Miami 14
Carolina 10 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
New England 13 FINAL
NY Giants 16
Washington 24 FINAL
Tampa Bay 10
Baltimore 22 FINAL
New Orleans 13
Chicago 13 FINAL
Cleveland 33
Denver 27 FINAL
Dallas 3
Minnesota 19 FINAL
Tennessee 3
San Francisco 40 FINAL
Houston 13
Arizona 9 FINAL
San Diego 12
Seattle 31 FINAL
Oakland 41
(21) Texas A&M 52 FINAL
(9) So Carolina 28
Wake Forest 10 FINAL
ULM 17
Boise State 13 FINAL
(18) Ole Miss 35
Tulane 31 FINAL
Tulsa 38
Rutgers 41 FINAL
Washington St 38
Weber State 14 FINAL
(19) Arizona State 45
Temple 37 FINAL
Vanderbilt 7
BYU 6:00 PM
Connecticut
(6) Jacksonville St 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8:00 PM
Houston
Colorado State 8:00 PM
Colorado
UNLV 9:30 PM
Arizona
Penn State 8/30/14 7:30 AM
UCF
Troy 8/30/14 11:00 AM
UAB
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Virginia
Western Mich 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
(5) Ohio State 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Navy
Appalachian St 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Michigan
Ga Southern 8/30/14 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 8/30/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 8/30/14 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8/30/14 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 8/30/14 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Ottawa 6:30 PM
Montreal
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How many games will the Timberwolves win this season?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close