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

Toronto - LP: A. Loup 4 FINAL
Cleveland - WP: J. Outman 6
LA Angels - LP: H. Santiago 1 FINAL
Detroit - WP: R. Porcello 2
Atlanta - LP: G. Schlosser 3 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: J. Valverde 4
Seattle - LP: T. Wilhelmsen 2 FINAL
Miami - WP: M. Dunn 3
St. Louis - LP: S. Maness 2 FINAL
Washington - WP: R. Soriano 3
Milwaukee - WP: Z. Duke 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: J. Gomez 2
NY Yankees - WP: P. Claiborne 5 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: H. Bell 1
Minnesota - WP: P. Hughes 8 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: Y. Ventura 3
Cincinnati - WP: H. Bailey 8 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: C. Villanueva 2
Chicago WSox - WP: E. Johnson 16 FINAL
Texas - LP: R. Ross Jr. 2
Houston - LP: B. Peacock 1 FINAL
Oakland - WP: J. Chavez 4
Philadelphia - WP: J. Diekman 10 FINAL
Colorado - LP: M. Belisle 9
San Francisco - WP: T. Lincecum 4 FINAL
San Diego - LP: R. Erlin 3
Arizona - LP: J. Collmenter 1 FINAL
Los Angeles - WP: J. Wright 4
Baltimore - LP: B. Matusz 5 FINAL
Boston - WP: E. Mujica 6
Dallas 85 FINAL
San Antonio 90
Charlotte 88 FINAL
Miami 99
Washington 102 FINAL
Chicago 93
Portland 122 FINAL
Houston 120
Philadelphia 4 FINAL
NY Rangers 2
Detroit 1 FINAL
Boston 4
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL
Montreal 3
Los Angeles 2 FINAL
San Jose 7
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: Grade the Timberwolves season

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close