Wolves couldn't afford to lose against Suns

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 27, 2014 - 1:19 AM

Tuesday’s comeback against the Suns kept whatever playoff hopes Minnesota still has alive.

– It’s probably hyperbole to say the Timberwolves’ 110-101 comeback victory at Phoenix on Tuesday night played them back into the playoff race.

It might not be a reach, however, to say they avoided playing themselves out of it by plucking away a victory just as the Suns did to them at Target Center in January.

If the Wolves hadn’t rallied from eight points down with eight minutes remaining to win, they would have been 7 ½ games behind the Suns in pursuit of the Western Conference’s eighth and final spot.

Instead, they awoke Wednesday for a rare three-day break between road games 5 ½ games behind the Suns.

“Big difference,” Wolves rookie forward Shabazz Muhammad said.

A victory achieved with a 24-6 fourth-quarter run — including a 11-0 surge over 2 ½ minutes late in the game — pushed the Wolves back within a game of .500, at 28-29.

More importantly, it gives them hope.

They’ll head to Sacramento for Saturday’s fourth game in a crucial five-game trip with the chance to go 4-1 before they return to play nine of their next 13 games at home.

They’ll do so coming off star Kevin Love’s 33-point, 13-rebound, nine-assist game that came within one assist of his second career triple-double game in the past four days as well as the first real breakout night in Muhammad’s young, quiet career so far.

“I think we can make a run,” Muhammad said. “There are still a lot of games I feel we can win. We’re playing so good as a team. We’re not out of it yet.”

The Wolves have won four of their past five games, all of them without the injured Nikola Pekovic, Kevin Martin and Ronny Turiaf.

Muhammad has emerged the past three games after playing very little before that because with Pekovic and Martin out, Adelman is searching to replace some of those missing 37 points a game.

On Tuesday, Muhammad provided more than half of those 37 with a career-high 20-point night that including half of those points in the fourth quarter. He helped will his team back in the fourth quarter not only with his scoring, but with his rebounding (six, including five in the fourth) and physicality, not to mention sheer determination.

His play took a victory away from a Suns team that had stolen one from them nearly two months ago. The Wolves led by nine points with fewer than five minutes left in that game and still lost 104-103 after Phoenix went on a finishing 16-6 run.

“We kind of owed them,” Love said. “That was a big win for us.”

The Wolves hadn’t forgotten that January game.

Or had they?

“We don’t talk about losing those close games as much as you guys do,” Adelman said to reporters after Tuesday’s game. “We forget about them. Things happen. I think what we have to do now is what we always talk about: Execute in the fourth quarter, take care of the ball and you have to get stops and we did that [Tuesday]. Hopefully, we’ll learn our lesson tonight.”

  • wolves

    Up next: 9 p.m. Saturday at Sacramento

    TV:  FSN (830-AM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Tennessee 7:25 PM
Jacksonville
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
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
New York 7:00 PM
Chicago
New Orleans 7:30 PM
Houston
Milwaukee 9:00 PM
Sacramento
Oklahoma City 9:30 PM
Golden State
Florida 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Colorado 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Toronto 6:00 PM
Carolina
Washington 6:00 PM
Columbus
Anaheim 6:30 PM
Montreal
St. Louis 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Edmonton 9:30 PM
San Jose
St Thomas (TX) 61 FINAL
Rice 72
Stony Brook 6:00 PM
Canisius
Temple 6:00 PM
Delaware
FIU 6:00 PM
Long Island
Lehigh 6:00 PM
Quinnipiac
South Alabama 6:00 PM
Richmond
Seton Hall 6:00 PM
South Florida
Ga Southern 6:00 PM
Stetson
Yale 6:00 PM
Vermont
Cleveland State 6:00 PM
Virginia
Wright State 6:00 PM
Western Carolina
Nicholls 6:30 PM
Louisiana Tech
Morgan State 6:30 PM
Rider
Idaho State 6:30 PM
South Dakota St
Oakland City 7:00 PM
Austin Peay
Eureka 7:00 PM
Bradley
Appalachian St 7:00 PM
Charlotte
Connecticut 7:00 PM
Duke
Southern Miss 7:00 PM
Jackson State
Coastal Carolina 7:00 PM
Ole Miss
Montana State 7:30 PM
South Dakota
LSU 8:00 PM
UAB
Ohio 8:05 PM
Evansville
CS-Dominguez 9:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Walla Walla 9:00 PM
Idaho
DePaul 9:00 PM
Oregon State
Nevada 9:00 PM
Pacific
Portland State 9:00 PM
San Francisco
CS-Bakersfield 9:05 PM
Utah State
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
Niagara 76 FINAL
Cleveland State 58
High Point 59 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 81
Towson 64 FINAL
Wake Forest 74
Presbyterian 50 FINAL
Charlotte 66
Chicago State 62 FINAL
Bradley 59
Northwestern Coll 58 FINAL
Drake 102
Vanderbilt 67 FINAL
Marquette 80
Temple 28 1st Half 4:29
Howard 15
Southern Miss 28 1st Half 1:47
Ole Miss 27
UMBC 25 1st Half 0:25
Rider 26
Miami-Florida 5:00 PM
UCLA
St Mary-KS 5:00 PM
South Dakota
William & Mary 5:00 PM
Wofford
Troy 5:30 PM
Evansville
Loyola Marymount 6:00 PM
USC
St Francis-PA 6:00 PM
Duquesne
Indiana-Southeast 6:00 PM
IUPUI
Delaware State 6:00 PM
Detroit
Tenn Temple 6:00 PM
Gardner-Webb
West Virginia St 6:00 PM
Radford
Fairfield 6:00 PM
Seton Hall
Dartmouth 6:00 PM
New Hampshire
Ball State 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Jacksonville 6:00 PM
Tennessee St
Trine 6:00 PM
Western Mich
Tenn Tech 6:30 PM
Lipscomb
Samford 7:00 PM
Tulane
New Orleans 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Incarnate Word 7:00 PM
TX-Pan American
Ark-Little Rock 7:00 PM
South Dakota St
CS-Northridge 7:30 PM
Northern Ariz
Santa Clara 8:00 PM
Oregon
(19) Oklahoma St 8:00 PM
Weber State
Washington 8:00 PM
San Diego State
Cal Poly 8:00 PM
New Mexico
(10) Louisville 8:00 PM
Grand Canyon
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: Who is your favorite pro sports coach in the Twin Cities?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close