Healthy Wolves top Suns in Phoenix

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 23, 2013 - 9:47 AM

In an ever-changing rotation, having 12 players made a world of difference.

 

– By their modest standards, the Timberwolves had an abundance of riches available for Friday night’s 117-86 runaway victory at Phoenix.

That means 12 healthy players.

Until this quick two-game trip West that ended Friday, the Wolves haven’t had that many with a 15-man roster since the day after Christmas.

So now that Andrei Kirilenko and Nikola Pekovic have returned to the starting lineup and Chase Budinger is back after four months away with perhaps Kevin Love not far behind … do the Wolves have enough time in the season’s remaining three weeks to find a way to play together again?

“I just don’t know,” Wolves coach Rick Adelman said. “We’re trying to work people back in. The rotation’s changed. We’re in situations where we’re just not used to being in.”

That was obvious when the two-game trip opened Thursday night with a 101-98 loss in Sacramento, where Adelman got caught at the end of the game with a defensive lineup on the floor when the Wolves ended up with the ball and the chance to tie the game with a three-pointer but with few shooters on the floor.

Ricky Rubio was left flinging the ball out to Dante Cunningham for a desperation three-pointer that went wide right at the final buzzer.

“I don’t blame him,” Adelman said, referring to his starting point guard. “I blame me. We need to think ahead.”

The Wolves took much of the thinking out of Friday’s game at Phoenix after they led 31-18 at the end of one quarter, 67-39 by halftime and by as many as 35 and never fewer than 19 in the second half.

Their 31-point victory came four days after the Suns beat the Kobe Bryant-less Lakers by 23 points at home on Monday.

A month after they lost an 84-83 overtime game in Phoenix, the Wolves thumped the Suns with Kirilenko looking more comfortable in his fourth game back after he had missed nine because of a strained calf.

He led the Wolves in scoring with 20 points and grabbed seven rebounds before he sat for most of the fourth quarter.

“I think it’s better,” Adelman said before the game. “It doesn’t bother him as much, but I don’t think he plays with the same freedom he was playing with before. That’s going to take some time for him to get used to it. I have to be careful and not push him minutes-wise. With Chase and Gelly [Mickael Gelabale], I don’t have to push him that many minutes.”

The Wolves also did so with Budinger playing through the soreness following Thursday’s return performance with a 16-minute, 11-point performance that helped the Wolves build their big early lead.

“I’m just going to watch him,” said Adelman, who kept Budinger within a 15-20 minute limit. “You don’t want to do anything where it flares up or anything like that.”

The Wolves’ bench outscored the Suns’ 58-31, thanks in good part to Cunningham’s 18-point night on 8-for-11 shooting.

Etc.

  • related content

  • Wolves-Phoenix game recap

    Saturday March 23, 2013

    GAME RECAPImpact playerAndrei KirilenkoThe small forward scored 20 points and grabbed seven rebounds in the rout.By the NUMBERS18 Points off...

  • Minnesota Timberwolves' Nikola Pekoic

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
Toronto 110 FINAL
LA Clippers 98
Boston 88 FINAL
Washington 101
Orlando 102 FINAL
Charlotte 94
Memphis 103 FINAL
Miami 95
Indiana 110 FINAL
Brooklyn 85
New Orleans 100 FINAL
Chicago 107
Atlanta 90 FINAL
Milwaukee 85
Philadelphia 71 FINAL
Utah 88
New York 129 FINAL
Sacramento 135
Minnesota 94 4th Qtr 0:37
Golden State 108
NY Islanders 3 FINAL(SO)
Buffalo 4
Detroit 3 FINAL(OT)
Ottawa 2
Carolina 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
New Jersey 1 FINAL
NY Rangers 3
Boston 2 FINAL
Columbus 6
Winnipeg 4 FINAL(OT)
Minnesota 3
Washington 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
Dallas 4 FINAL
St. Louis 3
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Nashville 4
Anaheim 1 FINAL(SO)
Arizona 2
Chicago 5 FINAL
Colorado 2
Edmonton 1 FINAL
Calgary 4
San Jose 1 FINAL
Los Angeles 3
Indiana 87 FINAL
Georgetown 91
Maine 43 FINAL
Seton Hall 72
UNC-Wilmington 82 FINAL
Minnesota 108
Georgia State 61 FINAL
Green Bay 78
Jacksonville St 61 FINAL
Jacksonville 75
Kentucky 58 FINAL
Louisville 50
Northern Ky 55 FINAL
Northwestern 76
UAB 58 FINAL
North Carolina 89
IUPUI 55 FINAL
Pepperdine 53
Santa Clara 60 FINAL
St Marys-CA 73
Oakland 56 FINAL
Maryland 72
Gonzaga 87 FINAL
BYU 80
Mercer 77 FINAL
Georgia 86
San Francisco 77 FINAL
Pacific 71
Wright State 55 FINAL
Ohio State 100
Presbyterian 65 FINAL
Virginia Tech 87
Brescia 42 FINAL
Western Ky 89
Tennessee St 46 FINAL
Tennessee 67
Kennesaw St 45 FINAL
Illinois 93
Colorado State 58 FINAL
New Mexico St 57
Portland 61 FINAL
San Diego 58
Wayland Baptist 63 FINAL
Utah State 75
Bristol University 59 FINAL
Weber State 109
Sacramento St 74 FINAL
Utah Valley U 49
Southern Utah 45 FINAL
UNLV 79
SD Christian 50 FINAL
San Diego St 72
Illinois 18 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 35
Rutgers 40 FINAL
North Carolina 21
NC State 34 FINAL
UCF 27
Cincinnati 17 FINAL
Virginia Tech 33
(15) Arizona State 36 FINAL
Duke 31
Miami-Florida 21 FINAL
So Carolina 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Penn State 31
(25) Nebraska 42 FINAL
(24) USC 45
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
Minnesota
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Houston 1/2/15 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Iowa 1/2/15 2:20 PM
Tennessee
(11) Kansas State 1/2/15 5:45 PM
(14) UCLA
Washington 1/2/15 9:15 PM
Oklahoma State
East Carolina 1/3/15 11:00 AM
Florida
SMU 45 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 96
UCF 64 FINAL
Houston 50
BYU 62 FINAL
Gonzaga 78
Pacific 92 FINAL
San Francisco 54
St Marys-CA 62 FINAL
Santa Clara 61
San Diego 87 FINAL
Portland 65
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: Who is your favorite pro sports coach in the Twin Cities?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close