Wolves clear the air, then clobber Charlotte 119-92

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 12, 2014 - 1:47 AM

A 27-point rout was the ideal vehicle for Wolves starters and reserves to distance themselves from a short-lived rift.

 

On Friday everybody was smiling again.

In a 119-92 thrashing of the Charlotte Bobcats at Target Center, the Wolves proved again to be as resilient as they are inconsistent.

The victory came two days after yet another late-game meltdown against Phoenix dropped Minnesota to 0-10 in games decided by four points or fewer, a loss exacerbated by Kevin Love’s postgame decision to call out reserves J.J. Barea and Dante Cunningham for not joining the team during timeouts down the stretch.

Again, Minnesota responded.

The Wolves are now 8-2 after those 10 close losses. They have won a league-leading eight games by 20 or more points. Minnesota hasn’t figured out how to win the close ones yet, but it sure knows how to win big.

“I wish we could meet somewhere in the middle there,” said Love, who had 19 points and 14 rebounds. “We’ve been resilient. But now we need to have one good streak and we’re right back to where we want to be.”

What was most striking about this win was the depth of the production. Starters Kevin Martin (19 points), Love and Nikola Pekovic (26) took turns dominating the first, second and third quarters. Pekovic, in particular, made things difficult for former Wolves player Al Jefferson from start to finish, scoring 15 points in the third quarter.

But this time the victory went deep into the team’s bench. For the first time since March 3, 2012, coach Rick Adelman had a completely healthy roster, and that depth started showing itself against the Bobcats — only a couple of days after Barea and Cunningham were chastised by Love, ostensibly because of their unhappiness over playing time.

Competition for minutes is only going to get keener.

After a back-and-forth first quarter had the Wolves up one, a lineup of reserves opened the second quarter on an 18-6 run — with Barea scoring seven points and Alexey Shved six — to push the lead to 13. That lead grew to 20 points by halftime and as high as 31 in the third quarter.

Depth? The Wolves bench scored 43 points, with Shved scoring 11, Chase Budinger eight and Cunningham six. Budinger’s return has helped the spacing with the second unit, and Ronny Turiaf’s return has given the Wolves a player capable of protecting the rim.

“It was great,” Barea said. “We did a good job of letting the other night go. We forgot about that already. We’re back winning and we have to keep it going.”

Add that to a starting unit that shot a combined 30-for-49 (61.2 percent), and you have the ingredients for success. The Wolves, back to .500 yet again, just have to mix in a little more consistency.

“We keep going back and forth,” Adelman said. “Somehow we have to get a couple wins in a row. I told them at halftime, when the game’s on the line, we’re making the same mistakes over and over. We can’t keep doing that. We don’t have to do that. We have to keep pushing ourselves, realize why we’ve lost those games, and not let it happen again.”

Easier said than done, especially Sunday, when the Wolves travel to San Antonio to play the powerhouse Spurs.

But, Friday night, the players were more interested in savoring another one-sided bounce-back victory.

“They want to be a good team,” Adelman said. “They have to find out how they’re going to do that. We’re so close.’’

  • related content

  • BOXSCORE: Wolves 119, Charlotte 92

    Friday January 10, 2014

  • Video: Wolves Daily: Memories of bitter defeat wiped away

    Friday January 10, 2014

    Wolves wipe away memories of Wednesday's bitter loss with a 119-92 romp over Charlotte, their league-leading eighth victory by...

  • Photo gallery: Wolves 119, Charlotte 92

    Friday January 10, 2014

    The Wolves bench scored 43 points in the win over Charlotte on Friday at Target Center in Minneapolis.

  • Wolves notes: Love and teammates mend fences, try to move forward

    Saturday January 11, 2014

    Friday, Kevin Love said, the team’s chemistry was good.

  • Shabazz Muhammad gets honored after two D-League games

    Friday January 10, 2014

    Good times

  • Wolves-Charlotte game recap

    Friday January 10, 2014

    GAME RECAPImpact playerNikola Pekovic, WolvesThe big center made things tough on Al Jefferson all night, scoring a game-high 26 points,...

  • The Wolves' Kevin Martin attempted a layup with Charlotte's Gerald Henderson defending during the first half at Target Center in Minneapolis Friday.

  • Nikola Pekovic showed Charlotte Bobcats center Al Jefferson some low-post moves of his own, finishing with 26 points Friday night.

  • The Wolves’ Kevin Martin scored 19 points but ran into brief trouble in the first half when Charlotte’s Gerald Henderson blocked his path to the rim on a layup attempt.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Los Angeles - C. Frias 2:10 PM
Colorado - J. De La Rosa
San Francisco - M. Bumgarner 2:40 PM
Arizona - A. Chafin
Boston - C. Buchholz 6:05 PM
Pittsburgh - F. Liriano
Toronto - J. Happ 6:05 PM
Baltimore - B. Norris
Washington - B. Treinen 6:10 PM
Atlanta - A. Wood
Miami - H. Alvarez 6:10 PM
NY Mets - D. Gee
NY Yankees - B. McCarthy 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - A. Cobb
Cincinnati - D. Corcino 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - K. Hendricks
Chicago WSox - C. Sale 7:10 PM
Kansas City - Y. Ventura
Cleveland - C. Carrasco 7:10 PM
Houston - B. Oberholtzer
Detroit - D. Price 7:10 PM
Minnesota - K. Gibson
Milwaukee - M. Fiers 7:15 PM
St. Louis - A. Wainwright
Seattle - J. Paxton 9:05 PM
LA Angels - C. Wilson
Texas - D. Holland 9:05 PM
Oakland - J. Samardzija
Philadelphia - C. Hamels 9:10 PM
San Diego - E. Stults
Tampa Bay 9/18/14 7:25 PM
Atlanta
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
(5) Auburn 9/18/14 6:30 PM
(20) Kansas State
Connecticut 9/19/14 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Toronto 9/19/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
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 many games will the Timberwolves win this season?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close