Wolves fall just short; Lakers win 22nd straight over Minnesota

A non-call at the buzzer helped run the futility streak vs. the Lakers to 22 games.

 The Timberwolves still haven’t beaten the Los Angeles Lakers since Kevin Garnett wore their uniform.

And all they’ll remember about this 22nd consecutive loss — 120-117 at Target Center — is the final play.

The Wolves trailed by 15 points in the third quarter, by eight points with two minutes left and by five with 40 seconds left on a night when both Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard dominated.

But still they had the chance to send the game to overtime when Ricky Rubio’s buzzer-beating three-point shot never reached the rim.

Rubio placed both his hands on his head in disbelief and gestured to referee Jason Phillips, pleading for a foul call on Bryant that never came as time expired.

Bryant missed the second of two free throws that would have given his team a four-point lead with 3.4 seconds left. Rubio grabbed the rebound and rushed down the court, launching a shot from well behind the three-point line as Bryant closed hard from behind.

Video replays appeared to show Bryant’s hand strike Rubio across his left wrist as he shot. The ball flew left and fell short.

Fifteen minutes after the game, Rubio sat at his locker with his head buried in a towel.

Later he said, “I don’t like to lose. I hate it. Sometimes it’s tough when you give everything and something like that happens. Just keep going through, it’s tough, it’s tough.”

Asked what kind of look he had at the basket and if he felt he would have made the shot, Rubio said, “I don’t want to think about it.”

Asked if the referees would have called a foul if it hadn’t been a superstar contesting his shot, he said, “I mean, what do you want me to say? I don’t know.”

Wolves coach Rick Adelman wasn’t about to answer that question, either.

“You’re not going to goad me into that,” he said. “It was tough all night long, really tough.”

Had Phillips made the call, Rubio would have gone to the free-throw line for three shots with a chance to tie the score one night after the Wolves won by 23 points in Detroit.

Had the 77-percent free-throw shooter made all three, the game would have gone to overtime.

Bryant scored 31 points and Howard delivered a 25-point, 16-rebound, five-block, five-steal performance but made just three of 10 free throws in the fourth quarter after the Wolves fouled him repeatedly in an attempt to get back in the game.

So what if … ?

“We would have went to overtime and won the game,” Bryant said. “Simple as that.”

The Lakers would have gone into overtime with five fouls each on Bryant and Steve Nash and four on Howard.

“That’s not a foul,” Bryant said. “They are not calling that … I don’t think I got him. But, you know, that’s a tough call to make, man. I just put my hand there. It’s not like I went out and smacked him across the arm or anything like that.”

Rubio, of course, had a different perspective. He gestured repeatedly to Phillips, chopping across one wrist with his other hand to show how and where he’d been fouled.

Adelman waved his arms about in disbelief.

The Wolves haven’t beaten the Lakers since a two-overtime victory at Target Center in March 2007.

“What do you think?” he responded when asked if he thought Rubio had been fouled. “I mean, come on. First of all, the guy should have never gone and tried to block the shot and he did. What are you going to say?”

  • related content

  • Video: Wolves' rally against Lakers falls short

    Thursday March 28, 2013

    Wolves lose to Lakers for 22nd consecutive time, dating to 2007, but the only thing they'll probably remember is...

  • Wolves notes: Lakers, like Wolves, feeling sting of injuries

    Thursday March 28, 2013

    The Wolves long ago watched their playoff hopes disappear because of their injuries, while the Lakers cling to the Western Conference’s eighth and final playoff spot

  • Photo gallery: Lakers 120, Wolves 117

    Wednesday March 27, 2013

    NBA action from Target Center, Wednesday, March 27.

  • The Minnesota Timberwolves' Ricky Rubio reacts after he thought he was...

  • Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant, left, drives around Minnesota Timberw...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Cleveland 28 2nd Qtr 9:55
Indiana 24
Washington 25 2nd Qtr
Philadelphia 28
Golden State 6:30 PM
Toronto
New York 6:30 PM
Detroit
Orlando 6:30 PM
Atlanta
Charlotte 6:30 PM
Boston
LA Clippers 7:00 PM
Memphis
Brooklyn 7:00 PM
Houston
Miami 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Minnesota 7:00 PM
Chicago
Utah 8:00 PM
Denver
San Antonio 9:00 PM
Sacramento
Milwaukee 9:30 PM
LA Lakers
Oklahoma City 9:30 PM
Portland
Boston 1 2nd Prd
New Jersey 0
Calgary 0 1st Prd 2:57
NY Islanders 1
Washington 0 1st Prd 4:33
Carolina 0
Chicago 0 1st Prd 20:00
Tampa Bay 0
Colorado 7:30 PM
Dallas
Los Angeles 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Siena 37 2nd Half 11:41
Quinnipiac 54
Harvard 21 2nd Half 20:00
Cornell 22
Penn 20 1st Half 4:15
Brown 34
Fairfield 19 1st Half 7:40
Canisius 20
Manhattan 24 1st Half 6:41
Iona 32
Saint Peters 13 1st Half 7:47
Marist 23
Princeton 32 1st Half 1:43
Yale 30
Ohio 7:00 PM
Akron
Dartmouth 7:00 PM
Columbia
Valparaiso 9:00 PM
Cleveland State
Louisiana Tech 75 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 88
Seton Hall 34 1st Half 5:03
Xavier 16
Cornell 22 1st Half 3:45
Harvard 20
Yale 16 1st Half 3:00
(14) Princeton 27
Elon 19 1st Half 3:55
Drexel 17
Northeastern 21 1st Half 4:20
James Madison 26
St Johns 23 1st Half 4:57
Butler 16
Creighton 31 1st Half 3:55
Georgetown 25
Brown 19 1st Half 3:56
Penn 27
Columbia 13 1st Half 4:34
Dartmouth 22
Canisius 15 1st Half 4:44
Siena 14
St Josephs Brooklyn 5 1st Half 16:50
NJIT 4
Western Carolina 27 1st Half 7:35
UNC Greensboro 10
Colorado 7:00 PM
Arizona
Southern Ill 7:00 PM
Bradley
Drake 7:00 PM
Wichita State
Indiana State 7:00 PM
Evansville
Illinois State 7:05 PM
Loyola-Chicago
Northern Iowa 7:05 PM
Missouri State
Utah 7:30 PM
(10) Arizona State
Providence 7:30 PM
Villanova
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 do you like the Kevin Garnett trade?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close