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.

Up 18, down 15...Wolves lose 102-94 at New Orleans

Posted by: Jerry Zgoda under Wolves postgame, Wolves news Updated: January 12, 2013 - 2:15 AM

It couldn't be this easy, right?

Of course it wasn't.

The Wolves went into New Orleans Arena Friday night without J.J. Barea, Kevin Love (of course) and even Lazar Hayward as well as their coach, Rick Adelman, and led by 18 before first quarter's end thanks to a 16-0 run in which everything seemed so east.

They moved the ball with precision and either got to the line or made layups for all those 16 points except for one Luke Ridnour jumper.

In turn, their defense held New Orleans without a point for nearly six minutes.

So what happened?

Well, of course there's that depleted nine-man roster -- or maybe 8.5 if you count Ricky Rubio -- that wore down as the game progressed.

More so, it was a pretty good, athletic New Orleans team that got physical with the Wolves, took advantage of their only three guards and pretty much neutralized by doing so big Nikola Pekovic through the final three quarters, when he scored just eight points after getting 10 in that first quarter alone.

Remember, this is a guy who scored a career-high 31 points the last time the Wolves visited New Orleans.

That was just a one month ago, when the Hornets were in the middle of an 11-game losing streak.

Now they've won four in a row -- thanks to a pretty dang good, young point guard in Greivis Vasquez and on Friday some good-shooting bigs in Ryan Anderson and Jason Smith -- including wins over the Spurs, Rockets and now the Wolves at home just this week alone.

Here's the game story from Friday's game.

And here's the night's notebook with a top about Rubio saying he's ready to be taken off that time limit and ready to test his knee and expand his game.

There should be postgame locker-room video from a whole cast of characters in the morning as well, either up here or attached with the game story.

A couple other quick things:

* The Wolves have fallen back under .500, at 16-17, heading on to San Antonio Sunday and Dallas Monday.

* Terry Porter said before tonight's game that he doesn't expect Adelman back for Sunday's game but could be by Monday.

* My guess is the Wolves are going to have to go to J.J. Barea rather than have him come to them. That means I bet he doesn't come to San Antonio but instead they'll meet him in Dallas Monday and then see where his bad back is at.

* The Wolves will practice in San Antonio on Saturday afternoon, but it probably will be most ly a walk-through for the Spurs game because they won't shoot on Sunday morning, not with a 6 p.m. start time.

That's it from tonight.

Blog at ya later.

 

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