Muhammad's career night helps Wolves rally past Phoenix

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 26, 2014 - 7:25 AM

Shabazz Muhammad’s 20 points helped the Wolves climb closer to the last playoff spot.

– The Timberwolves on Tuesday beat the Phoenix Suns, the successful team the Wolves thought they would be this season.

In doing so with a 110-101 comeback victory, they kept the Suns within sight for the Western Conference’s eighth and final playoff spot and Wolves rookie Shabazz Muhammad proved he’s at his best in the desert.

“Must be the warm weather,” teammate Kevin Love said after his 33-point, 13-rebound, nine-assist night came within one assist of his second career triple-double, all in the past four days.

Or maybe it was just an opportunity.

Muhammad played the entire fourth quarter and a season-high 24 minutes and scored a career-high 20 points, half of them in that fourth quarter.

But that was only half the story for a player who became the nation’s No. 1 prep player while playing for a Las Vegas high school and who has sat for almost all of his NBA rookie season.

On Tuesday, Muhammad was the unlikely one to give the Wolves the energy they needed to recover from an eight-point deficit with eight minutes remaining. They outscored the Suns 24-6 over the next seven.

Included was a decisive 11-0 burst over 2½ minutes late that won the game after Suns star point guard Goran Dragic fouled out with 3 minutes, 46 seconds left.

Muhammad did it with his rebounding, his physicality and his will.

“He was terrific,” coach Rick Adelman said. “You’ve just got to give him all the credit in the world. He wasn’t getting the opportunity, and he kept working and working and working. He gets an opportunity now and what I liked about him is he stayed within his strengths: He rebounded the ball. He posted up. That’s what he can do.”

And late in the game, the same guy who was known as a shoot-first, shoot-second and shoot-last player during his one season at UCLA delivered the pass that led to a Corey Brewer layup and gave the Wolves a 102-97 lead with 1:38 left, a basket that was the centerpiece of that 11-0 run.

That pass came just after Muhammad had pulled down two rebounds, one on each end of the court.

Five of his six rebounds came in the fourth quarter, three of them during that 11-0 run.

“My favorite part was the two big rebounds at the end to really try and secure the game for us,” Muhammad said. “I’m just happy that I’m finally getting some playing time. I’ve been staying after practice, working with the coaches, and it’s paying off for me. It feels great. I’m starting to feel comfortable out there, my conditioning is starting to get up.

“It’s something I’m really grateful for, that we pulled out the win.”

Muhammad has finally received his chance to play in the past three games because with center Nikola Pekovic and guard Kevin Martin out injured, Adelman says he needed to find a way to replace those 40 missing points from the lineup.

Muhammad sure went a long way in doing that, especially when the Wolves held Phoenix without a basket for nearly three minutes when it mattered most. By doing that, the Wolves sit 5½ games behind the Suns for that final playoff spot, rather than 7½ had they lost to the same team that trailed by nine with 4½ minutes left and still beat them at Target Center in January.

“We’ve got to win games and we have to win two more on this trip,” Adelman said. “We have to take care of our business and see if we can’t get something going. It’s a huge win. We let one slip away the last time we played them, but tonight guys battled the whole game.”

 

  • related content

  • Video: From the Locker Room: Wolves win at Phoenix

    Wednesday February 26, 2014

    Rick Adelman, Shabazz Muhammad and Kevin Love discuss Wolves' fourth victory in last five games

  • BOXSCORE: Wolves 110, Phoenix 101

    Tuesday February 25, 2014

  • Playoff chase: NBA conference standings

    Tuesday March 4, 2014

  • Wolves notes: Pekovic's wait to return to lineup continues

    Wednesday February 26, 2014

    Three weeks after he hoped to be back, Timberwolves center Nikola Pekovic remains out because of bursitis in his right ankle.

  • Wolves-Phoenix game recap

    Tuesday February 25, 2014

    GAME RECAPIMPACT PLAYERShabazz MuhammadThe seldom-used rookie scored 20 points on 8-for-13 shooting and grabbed six rebounds, including several big ones...

  • Minnesota Timberwolves forward Dante Cunningham (33) and Phoenix Suns guard Gerald Green chase down a loose ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

  • Kevin Love came within one assist of his second triple-double in four days.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Los Angeles - LP: B. Wilson 7 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Grimm 8
Detroit - WP: M. Scherzer 3 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Shields 2
Philadelphia - WP: J. Williams 3 FINAL
Oakland - LP: D. Otero 0
Toronto - WP: M. Stroman 6 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: C. Capuano 3
Arizona - LP: T. Cahill 1 FINAL
Colorado - WP: E. Butler 5
Boston - LP: R. De La Rosa 2 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: C. Tillman 7
Milwaukee - WP: Z. Duke 1 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: M. Melancon 0
Washington - WP: J. Zimmermann 3 FINAL
Miami - LP: J. Cosart 2
NY Mets - WP: J. Niese 4 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: M. Minor 2
Chicago WSox - LP: H. Noesi 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: C. Archer 3
Cleveland - WP: T. House 7 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: T. May 3
Seattle - LP: C. Young 1 FINAL
Houston - WP: D. Keuchel 10
Cincinnati - LP: M. Leake 4 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: J. Motte 8
San Francisco - LP: Y. Petit 2 FINAL
San Diego - WP: A. Cashner 3
Texas 5 Bottom 8th Inning
LA Angels 8
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
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Connecticut 14 FINAL
So Florida 17
Old Dominion 45 FINAL
Rice 42
Troy 0 FINAL
(13) Georgia 66
Georgia Tech 27 FINAL
Virginia Tech 24
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
(11) Michigan State 73
Iowa 24 FINAL
Pittsburgh 20
Bowling Green 17 FINAL
(19) Wisconsin 68
Maryland 34 FINAL
Syracuse 20
Tulane 13 FINAL
Duke 47
Hawaii 12 FINAL
Colorado 21
Marshall 48 FINAL
Akron 17
North Carolina 41 FINAL
East Carolina 70
Army 21 FINAL
Wake Forest 24
Virginia 33 FINAL
(21) BYU 41
(6) Texas A&M 58 FINAL
SMU 6
Rutgers 31 FINAL
Navy 24
Central Mich 10 FINAL
Kansas 24
Utah 26 FINAL
Michigan 10
Florida 21 FINAL
(3) Alabama 42
Louisville 34 FINAL
FIU 3
Fla Atlantic 19 FINAL
Wyoming 20
Indiana 31 FINAL
(18) Missouri 27
San Jose St 7 FINAL
Minnesota 24
Texas State 35 FINAL
Illinois 42
Massachusetts 7 FINAL
Penn State 48
Georgia State 14 FINAL
Washington 45
Appalachian St 20 FINAL
Southern Miss 21
Miss State 34 FINAL
(8) LSU 29
Northern Ill 14 FINAL
Arkansas 52
Middle Tennessee 17 FINAL
Memphis 36
Utah State 14 FINAL
Arkansas State 21
Miami-Ohio 24 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Idaho 24 FINAL
Ohio U 36
Ball State 9 3rd Qtr 4:42
Toledo 20
(14) So Carolina 48 FINAL
Vanderbilt 34
(4) Oklahoma 45 FINAL
West Virginia 33
Ga Southern 28 FINAL
South Alabama 6
UNLV 14 FINAL
Houston 47
Miami-Florida 31 FINAL
(24) Nebraska 41
New Mexico 38 FINAL
New Mexico St 35
(22) Clemson 17 1st OT 15:00
(1) Florida State 23
California 28 3rd Qtr
Arizona 6
San Diego St 7 2nd Qtr 0:27
Oregon State 14
(2) Oregon 21 2nd Qtr 4:55
Washington St 14
Louisiana 3 2nd Qtr 5:17
Boise State 21
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:00 AM
NC State
Duke 9/27/14 2:00 AM
Miami-Florida
North Carolina 9/27/14 2:00 AM
(22) Clemson
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(20) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(23) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
(18) Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(14) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(8) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(9) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(17) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Vancouver FC 0 FINAL
Portland 3
Houston 0 FINAL
Philadelphia 0
New England 0 FINAL
Columbus 1
San Jose 0 FINAL
Montreal 2
Seattle 1 FINAL
Red Bull New York 4
D.C. 3 FINAL
Chicago 3
FC Dallas 1 2nd Half 35:00
Los Angeles 0
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 23 FINAL 0:00
Hamilton 25
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
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