PORTLAND, ORE. – Battered, bruised but unbowed, the Timberwolves played on at Portland on Saturday, one night after surviving, and winning, a close, physical game at Golden State.
Starters Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio and backup point guard J.J. Barea played in Saturday’s 115-104 loss to the Trail Blazers after each came off the court limping in that 121-120 victory over the Warriors.
Rubio sprained his ankle drawing a charge from Andre Iguodala late in Friday’s game and couldn’t finish at the very end because of it.
“Not a big deal,” Rubio said.
Love turned his ankle twice and banged his knee Friday, but finished the game even though he limped his way through a good portion of it.
“I was a little worried about him; him and Ricky seemed to be the two that were real aggravated,” Wolves coach Rick Adelman said, referring to Love.
Barea bruised his back when he fell hard late in the third quarter. He played only the game’s final 20 seconds after that, when Rubio could no longer go. He came off the bench with a second unit that gave up a two-point lead after the first quarter and got outscored 16-4 to start the second quarter.
“I’m still sore from the fall, but I’m moving fine, as long as I don’t get hit again,” said Barea, who played 11 scoreless minutes against the Trail Blazers, going 0-for-4 from the floor. “I’ll be fine, I’ll play the same way. It’s a bruise, so no big deal.”
The most powerful?
Saturday’s game was the second meeting this season between Love and Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge, and Blazers coach Terry Stotts wasted no time during his pregame media availability in playfully addressing who is the game’s best power forward.
“You have two of the best [power] forward in the league,” he said when asked about the matchup. “We have the best. They probably have the second best.”
Ricky’s new math
The Wolves’ Friday victory was their first this season by four or fewer points after they started 0-11 in games with that margin.
Adelman has always contended that number is misleading because there have been games his team trailed by more, then made the final score appear closer than it actually was.
Rubio did his own kind of math when asked about ending that 0-for.
“Well, we won the first game in the overtime,” he said, referring to a season-opening, five-point victory over Orlando saved by Love’s tying three-pointer late in regulation time, “so that should be 1-11, you know.”
That discolored and lacerated pinkie finger on Wolves starter Kevin Martin’s right shooting hand apparently is fine.