Patrick Reusse has been covering sports in the Twin Cities since 1968. He has been a Star Tribune sports columnist since 1988. His sportswriting credo is twofold: 1. God will provide an angle; 2. The smaller the ball, the better the writing.


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On nights like this, the Wolves are a fun bunch

Posted by: Patrick Reusse Updated: February 19, 2014 - 10:57 PM

This is the most-interesting team the Timberwolves have offered since the group that went to the Western Conference finals in 2004. When it is one of those nights, the Woofies can offer the best entertainment to be found among the major sports entities (pros and Gophers) in the Twin Cities.

Wednesday was one of those nights. The Wolves were without Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Martin, yet came out with fantastic aggressiveness against an Indiana crew that arrived at Target Center with a 41-12 record.

Indiana opened the post-All-Star stretch run with a home victory over Atlanta on Tuesday. The Timberwolves had reassembled at Target Center on Tuesday and spent three hours in practice and in a meeting, to ready for the Pacers.

The lads must have been listening when coach Rick Adelman and his assistants were instructing on this occasion. They ran off to a 40-20 lead early in the second quarter and finished with a 104-91 victory.

Kevin Love was stupendous with 42 points (and on 22 shots, as Adelman pointed out) and 16 rebounds. Love’s shootout in the third period with Indiana’s Paul George in a duel of stars was a thing of magnificence.

Love had 18 points on 6 of 9 shooting and 4-for-4 on free throws. George had 18 points on 5 of 9 shooting and 8-for-8 free throws. The last of those combined 36 points was a Love jumper in the quarter’s final second … a 19-footer that fell in as Love backed toward the sideline.

“I thought a lot of the shots [Love] made were against good defense,’’ Indiana coach Frank Vogel said. “He is an extraordinary player and he played an extraordinary game tonight.’’

As great as was Love, the player who pushed the pace at the Pacers from the get-go was Ricky Rubio. He had eight assists – eight – in the first quarter, and wound up equaling the franchise record with 17 assists for the game.

Five other Wolves had 17: Sidney Lowe, Pooh Richardson, Micheal Williams, Steph Marbury and Chauncey Billups.

We can assume Lowe and Richardson, the Wolves’ original point guards, had most of their 17 with coach Bill Musselman shouting “72’’ or “two-down’’ to be run with Tony Campbell.

And we all remember Williams for the odd spelling of Micheal, his free throw proficiency and as Minnesota’s pioneer when it came to plantar fasciitis.

Rubio went 2 for 10 from the floor and scored six points on Wednesday, but this was one of those nights when you didn’t care about Ricky’s bricklaying because his playmaking was superb.

There have been a dozen of these games, maybe more, telecast from the road or before the home crowd, when the Wolves played at such a wonderful pace that it was unmistakable you were watching the best show in town.

And then there have been those other games, the losses in the last half-minute and the mysterious missteps, that have left the Wolves at 26-28 and sure to be locked out of the playoffs for a 10th consecutive season.

Too bad, because this is a fun bunch to watch … when it happens to be one of those nights.

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Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
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Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
Atlanta 65 3rd Qtr
Cleveland 60
Phoenix 54 3rd Qtr
Charlotte 61
Dallas 32 2nd Qtr 10:49
Detroit 32
Utah 33 2nd Qtr
Miami 16
Orlando 31 2nd Qtr 10:50
Boston 29
Brooklyn 7:00 PM
Toronto
Memphis 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Milwaukee 9:00 PM
Portland
Houston 9:30 PM
Denver
Indiana 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
Ottawa 1 2nd Prd 18:31
New Jersey 0
Boston 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Dallas 9:00 PM
Vancouver
Langston 65 FINAL
North Texas 78
Delaware State 72 FINAL
St Francis-NY 64
James Madison 30 2nd Half
Ball State 23
SIU Edwardsville 30 2nd Half
Campbell 37
St Francis-PA 40 2nd Half 17:08
Duquesne 27
North Florida 29 2nd Half
Florida State 43
Catawba 39 2nd Half 19:09
George Mason 47
Ferrum 22 2nd Half
High Point 47
Hampton 29 2nd Half 18:05
Illinois 44
Gardner-Webb 43 2nd Half 19:17
Jacksonville 34
Longwood 21 2nd Half
Miami-Ohio 31
Arkansas State 43 2nd Half 16:01
Miss State 34
Tennessee 34 2nd Half 17:10
NC State 42
NC A&T 32 2nd Half 16:02
Ohio State 58
Manhattan 25 2nd Half 16:47
Pittsburgh 32
Robert Morris 28 2nd Half
Toledo 40
Char Southern 30 2nd Half 15:35
Wofford 31
Kennesaw St 46 1st Half 0:33
Youngstown St 39
Barber-Scotia 20 2nd Half
NC Central 62
Detroit 26 1st Half 2:40
UCF 29
Liberty 17 1st Half 5:23
UNC-Wilmington 21
TX A&M-CC 2 1st Half 17:41
Denver 5
Ark-Pine Bluff 2 1st Half 19:16
Houston 0
UT Martin 3 1st Half 18:30
Illinois State 0
Milligan 7:00 PM
Louisiana
Abilene Christian 7:00 PM
Loyola-Chicago
USC Upstate 3 1st Half 17:35
Memphis 5
Alcorn State 7:00 PM
Murray State
Central Mich 7:00 PM
Northwestern
Georgia State 2 1st Half 17:32
Old Dominion 2
TX-Pan American 0 1st Half 19:46
Saint Louis 0
Ill-Chicago 0 1st Half 19:41
SMU 1
Texas State 2 1st Half 17:18
Stephen F Austin 7
SC State 7:00 PM
Texas Tech
Missouri State 4 1st Half 15:23
Tulsa 7
Chicago State 7:00 PM
Western Ky
Morehead State 7:00 PM
Green Bay
Northern Colorado 0 1st Half 20:00
Nebraska Omaha 0
Winthrop 8:00 PM
Auburn
New Mexico St 8:00 PM
Baylor
San Diego St 8:00 PM
Cincinnati
Eastern Mich 8:00 PM
Michigan State
Loyola Marymount 8:00 PM
Stanford
Incarnate Word 8:00 PM
Grand Canyon
Northeastern 9:00 PM
Cal Poly
Central Arkansas 9:00 PM
New Mexico
Howard 9:00 PM
Pepperdine
Portland 9:30 PM
UNLV
CS-Northridge 10:00 PM
Oregon
Grambling St 10:00 PM
Washington
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Louisiana
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Western Carolina 79 FINAL
UNC-Asheville 66
(21) Miss State 66 FINAL
Louisiana 51
(25) DePaul 109 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 84
Liberty 64 FINAL
NC State 67
Elon 77 FINAL
Campbell 51
Akron 73 FINAL
UCF 64
Richmond 77 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 67
Montana 70 FINAL
Seattle 64
(7) Stanford 46 FINAL
Chattanooga 54
Florida A&M 56 2nd Half 2:19
Southern U 67
Oklahoma 50 2nd Half 12:20
(13) Duke 63
Savannah State 37 2nd Half 8:28
Auburn 50
Northern Colorado 12 2nd Half
South Florida 51
Youngstown St 32 2nd Half 17:00
Robert Morris 39
Siena 48 2nd Half 11:16
Sacred Heart 56
Vermont 29 2nd Half 20:00
St Francis-NY 34
(1) South Carolina 47 2nd Half 12:59
Hampton 28
Fla Gulf Coast 53 2nd Half 15:37
Bethune-Cookman 25
Texas Southern 53 2nd Half 16:56
Houston Baptist 42
Northwestern 47 2nd Half 17:12
UNLV 42
NC A&T 40 2nd Half 19:31
Appalachian St 36
NC Central 32 2nd Half 16:00
Coastal Carolina 41
Drexel 26 2nd Half 20:00
Quinnipiac 38
Cincinnati 26 2nd Half 20:00
Northern Ky 32
Alabama State 25 2nd Half
Georgia Tech 45
Morehead St 38 2nd Half
USC Upstate 40
Arkansas State 30 2nd Half
Kent State 21
American Univ 37 2nd Half 13:54
Manhattan 30
UNC Greensboro 34 2nd Half 20:00
St Bonaventure 38
Arkansas-Monticello 25 1st Half 0:21
Northwestern St 21
Prairie View 15 1st Half 7:05
Sam Houston St 14
Eastern Kentucky 7:00 PM
Alabama A&M
SIU-Edwardsville 7:00 PM
Northern Ill
McMurry 7:00 PM
TX-Arlington
McNeese State 0 1st Half 20:00
(3) Texas 0
Yale 0 1st Half 20:00
Wagner 0
Oakland 0 1st Half 20:00
TX A&M-CC 0
Portland 8:00 PM
Eastern Washington
North Texas 9:00 PM
San Francisco
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