Ailing Turiaf stays close to team

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 4, 2013 - 7:24 AM

– Timberwolves veteran center Ronny Turiaf sat at his corner locker inside Madison Square Garden before Sunday’s game against the New York Knicks, displaying the posture befitting a guy who broke his elbow two nights earlier and is out for the foreseeable future.

He said he was scheduled to meet with a New York doctor Sunday night. The Wolves have not set a timetable for his return until he is examined further.

His right arm wrapped, Turiaf traveled with the Wolves on this two-game trip to New York and Cleveland because he said it’s important to be with his team.

“Without a doubt, I’d be going crazy if I wasn’t here,” Turiaf said. “I’m just so happy to be in this situation (with the Wolves); this is just a little setback to make me even more hungry, even more appreciative of things I have going on with this team. I need to be around my friends and with my teammates.”

Turiaf’s absence probably means an increased role for rookie Gorgui Dieng, except he didn’t play Sunday. Wolves coach Rick Adelman played starter Nikola Pekovic long minutes and then subbed for him by going small with Dante Cunningham instead.

“Well, he’s going to have to play,” Adelman said, referring to Dieng. “He played pretty well in preseason. The other night [after Turiaf’s injury] he was a little bit nervous in the way he played. Our choice is him or slide Kevin [Love] over there. The way he’s played, we have confidence he can go in, play minutes and have an impact on the game.”

Adjusting to Anthony

After he limited Oklahoma City star Kevin Durant on Friday to his lowest scoring game since New Year’s Eve 2011, Corey Brewer vowed to once again use everything he had against heavier, stronger Carmelo Anthony on Sunday.

“I guess I’ll have to use all 188 pounds that I’ve got,” he said.

Adelman helped him out, using Derrick Williams — who’s more suitably sized to battle Anthony — with the starters at the end of the first half. When Brewer picked up his fourth foul midway through the third quarter, Adelman again turned to Williams. Anthony hit only two of 10 shots when Brewer covered him. Anthony finished with 22 points, but hit just eight of 21 shots.

Finally, a Garden party

The last time the Wolves visited the Garden — just before Christmas last season — Love was out because of an eye injury and Ricky Rubio had just returned the week before after missing nine months because of torn knee ligaments.

On Sunday, both were healthy, and happy. Rubio was introduced as a starter at the Garden for the first time in his three-year career: The Wolves didn’t play there during his lockout-shortened rookie season and he came off the bench behind Luke Ridnour last year.

“Last year, I wasn’t myself, coming back from an injury, four or five games in,” Rubio said. “I was feeling good but my knee wasn’t ready yet. Now I feel pretty good.”

The precious present

Love is still nearly two seasons away from an opt-out clause that would make him an unrestricted free agent in summer 2015, but he better get used to being asked about it. A New York City reporter before Sunday’s game asked him how he’d like to be Knick then.

“You know, I’m just looking forward to the game tonight and this year,” he said. “I don’t want to talk about last year. I don’t want to talk about years to come. I just want to talk about his year and the present right now.”

Etc.

•The Knicks played without sixth man J.R. Smith, who is serving a season-starting suspension for violating the NBA’s substance abuse policy, and Amare Stoudemire, who is being brought back slowly after undergoing knee surgery for the third time in a year in July.

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  • Wolves center Ronny Turiaf (middle, with teammates Dante Cunningham and Derrick Williams) walked off the floor with a fractured elbow from a fall during the first half at Target Center against Oklahoma City.

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