Shorthanded Wolves fall short

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 9, 2014 - 12:49 AM

With Love, Martin out, Portland pulls away in fourth.

view larger photos

  

 

This time it was Ricky Rubio lingering in the cold tub after the game, getting extra treatment in the training room, moving slowly, gingerly to his locker room long after Saturday’s game had ended.

“I got the hits for Kevin Martin and Kevin Love tonight,” he said, shrugging his shoulders.

Rubio smiled. Or was that grimaced? With both Martin and Love out of the game, and with center Nikola Pekovic missing his seventh consecutive game, the Timberwolves, led by a remarkably aggressive Rubio, played a gutty game but again lost their grip on it in the fourth quarter. The result: a 117-110 loss to Portland at Target Center.

It was not for lack of trying.

The Wolves knew hours before the game that Martin — who broke the thumb in his left (non-shooting) hand Friday in New Orleans — would be out. But it wasn’t until a half-hour before tipoff that word came that Love would be out, too, this time because of a quadriceps contusion. Those two plus Pekovic meant that those still standing had to make up for the loss of about 62 points per game.

They nearly did.

Rubio had a career night, hitting eight of 19 shots and going 2-for-4 on three-pointers on the way to 25 points and nine assists. He and rookie Shabazz Muhammad (12 points) each had career highs. Corey Brewer scored 26, Chase Budinger had 19 and Dante Cunningham had 14.

And it wasn’t enough against the league’s highest-scoring team.

“We couldn’t get stops,” Budinger said. “It happened all game. You let a team score about 120 points, it’s going to be tough to beat them.’’

LaMarcus Aldridge scored 26 points, six coming in a stretch in which Portland took over what was a tie game in the fourth quarter. C.J. McCollum scored 19 off the bench. Wesley Matthews scored 21, including 13 in the fourth quarter.

Indeed, given how different the Wolves lineup looked Saturday, it’s remarkable how familiar the game felt. Minnesota (24-27) lost its third consecutive and its fifth in six games in a very familiar manner.

Working hard and working together, the Wolves had a six-point lead late in the third quarter. But the Trail Blazers (36-15) scored the final six points of the quarter to tie the score at 83.

Early in the fourth quarter, with the score tied at 87, Aldridge scored six points in an 11-1 run that put Portland up 98-88. The Wolves trimmed it to five once, but never were able to get enough stops to get back into the game.

And if not having Pekovic, Martin and Love was an excuse, it didn’t make anyone feel better.

“Those are our big guns,” Brewer said. “All we could do is play hard and give ourselves a chance to win. We played our butts off tonight. We got some tough breaks in the fourth quarter, and we just couldn’t win it.”

Not when the Blazers score 34 fourth-quarter points. Not when the Wolves make only one of seven three-pointers in the fourth quarter. Different lineup, same result. And now the Wolves are three games under .500 for the first time since Jan. 17, and the schedule is getting harder.

Neither Pekovic nor Martin are expected to play until after the All-Star break. Love’s prognosis is less certain. He has played through an ankle injury and a whiplash-induced sore neck, but it’s unclear when he will be back.

  • related content

  • BOXSCORE: Portland 117, Wolves 110

    Saturday February 8, 2014

  • Portland-Wolves game recap

    Saturday February 8, 2014

    GAME RECAPImpact playerRicky Rubio, WolvesThe point guard kept the Wolves in the game, scoring 25 points on 8-for-19 shooting and...

  • Wolves injury list grows: Love, Martin both out

    Sunday February 9, 2014

    The Timberwolves’ injury situation worsened Saturday.

  • Postgame: Beat-up Wolves lose again

    Saturday February 8, 2014

    Ricky Rubio, Shabazz Muhammad each score career highs in loss

  • Dante Cunningham drove for the basket in the first half against Portland.

  • Wolves point guard Ricky Rubio drove past Portland’s Earl Watson on his way to a first-half basket. Rubio scored 25 points, but Portland rallied.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Minnesota 77 3rd Qtr 1:48
Philadelphia 74
Houston 60 3rd Qtr
Boston 42
Portland 51 3rd Qtr
Atlanta 50
Sacramento 44 3rd Qtr
Cleveland 55
Toronto 66 3rd Qtr
Brooklyn 54
Dallas 13 2nd Qtr 10:57
Miami 18
LA Clippers 35 2nd Qtr 8:10
New Orleans 32
Golden State 8:00 PM
Utah
Chicago 9:30 PM
Phoenix
Pittsburgh 0 3rd Prd
New Jersey 0
St. Louis 2 3rd Prd
Carolina 2
Nashville 8:00 PM
Colorado
Buffalo 9:00 PM
Vancouver
Chicago 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Harvard 75 FINAL
Princeton 72
Quinnipiac 44 2nd Half 5:27
Canisius 49
Brown 49 FINAL
Cornell 57
Siena 67 2nd Half 5:58
Manhattan 72
Marist 54 2nd Half 3:25
Niagara 56
Dartmouth 45 2nd Half 4:30
Penn 50
Oregon 32 1st Half 1:23
Arizona State 27
Yale 32 1st Half 1:55
Columbia 28
Monmouth 22 1st Half 3:20
Fairfield 20
IUPUI 27 1st Half 0:55
Western Ill 26
Oregon State 9:00 PM
Arizona
Kent State 9:00 PM
Buffalo
Canisius 75 FINAL
Monmouth 58
Columbia 47 FINAL
Yale 55
Coll of Charleston 47 FINAL
Drexel 64
Butler 63 2nd Half 1:18
Providence 56
Cornell 60 2nd Half 2:00
Brown 50
Penn 54 2nd Half 0:23
Dartmouth 36
Elon 42 2nd Half 7:59
James Madison 71
(19) Princeton 84 2nd Half 4:27
Harvard 42
(9) Florida State 72 2nd Half 4:32
Georgia Tech 51
Quinnipiac 82 2nd Half 2:02
Siena 57
Richmond 54 2nd Half 0:07
Rhode Island 50
Loyola-Chicago 49 2nd Half 4:59
Southern Ill 54
Georgetown 11 1st Half 6:24
DePaul 41
Villanova 27 1st Half 5:44
Marquette 23
Wichita State 21 1st Half 3:25
Northern Iowa 7
Xavier 26 1st Half 1:40
Creighton 36
Bradley 26 1st Half 3:42
Illinois State 19
Missouri State 20 1st Half 6:23
Drake 34
Arizona 8:00 PM
Utah
(11) Arizona State 8:00 PM
Colorado
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 should Timberwolves fans greet Kevin Love on Saturday?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close