Wolves welcome two starters back, and win in Sacramento

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA
  • Updated: March 2, 2014 - 9:00 AM

Kevin Martin and Nikola Pekovic combined for 39 points in their return, leading their team to its fifth victory in six games.

 

 

– The Timberwolves welcomed two starters back after weeks away injured….and lived to tell about it with a 108-97 victory at Sacramento on Saturday night.

The Wolves repelled the Kings’ fourth-quarter comeback and kept their playoff aspirations percolating by winning for the fifth time in six games, this time with both Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Martin back in the starting lineup and on the floor at game’s end for the first time in weeks.

“It’s going to take a little while,” Wolves star Kevin Love said about integrating both players back into a team that learned to win without them. “But it didn’t look like it tonight.”

Leading by 15 points during a transformational third quarter and by eight points with as little as 3 ½ minutes left, the Wolves allowed the Kings to get within 97-95 with 2:09 remaining before they finished with a closing 11-2 flourish anchored by Ricky Rubio’s clutch three-point shot.

– and just one three-pointer – all night.

“I was open,” Rubio said simply, “so I took it.”

The Wolves now are 3-1 on a five-game trip that began a week earlier at Utah and ends Monday at Denver.

“It’s the type of game we need to keep winning,” Wolves coach Rick Adelman said afterward. “We don’t know what’s ahead for us, but we do know we have one more game left on the road trip and then we go home for a home stand. It’s there for us.”

The victory pushed the Wolves back to even for the season, at 29-29. They trail Phoenix by five games for the West’s eighth and final playoff spot and ninth-place Memphis by four games.

After Monday’s game, they go home to play 10 of their next 15 games at home, including three of their first four there against teams with losing records.

Martin played 34-plus minutes in his first game back since he fractured a bone in the thumb of his left non-shooting hand three weeks ago at New Orleans and scored 19 of his 26 points by halftime.

“It was just great to be out there with the guys,” Martin said. “Basketball is the easy part. It was actually tougher sitting out and not playing than it is playing.”

Pekovic played nearly 28 minutes, which Adelman acknowledged was more than the 20-22 minute limit stated by the team’s medical staff and delivered a 20-point, 9-rebound performance in which his team needed his presence against Sacramento’s big, bruising DeMarcus Cousins (21 points, 17 rebounds).

It also needed his two free throws with 1:27 left that pushed the Kings back for one final time after Sacramento guard Isaiah Thomas’ jump shot got them within a basket.

“I don’t want to argue with Coach,” Pekovic said, smiling when asked about his playing time.

He hadn’t played since a Jan. 27 game at Chicago because of bursitis in his right ankle.

  • related content

  • BOXSCORE: Wolves 108, Sacramento 97

    Saturday March 1, 2014

  • Wolves notes: Barea unapologetic over his emotional nature

    Sunday March 2, 2014

    Flip Saunders on his weekly KFAN radio show said he put J.J. Barea “on notice” and said he needs to contain his emotions better.

  • Playoff chase: NBA conference standings

    Tuesday March 4, 2014

  • Wolves-Sacramento game recap

    Sunday March 2, 2014

    GAME RECAPImpact playerKevin Martin, WolvesIn his first game back from injury, Martin scored 19 of his 26 points in the...

  • Minnesota Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio, of Spain, right, drives to the basket past Sacramento Kings guard Isaiah Thomas during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., Saturday, March 1, 2014.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

  • Sacramento Kings forward Derrick Williams, left, goes up for a shot as Los Angeles Lakers forward Jordan Hill defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Feb. 28, 2014, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Back in the lineup for the first time since Feb. 7, Wolves guard Kevin Martin drove past Sacramento’s Isaiah Thomas for a layup.

  • wolves 108, sacramento 97

    Up next: 8 p.m. Monday at Denver • TV: FSN Plus (830-AM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Houston 12:05 PM
Miami
Philadelphia 12:05 PM
Minnesota
St. Louis 12:05 PM
Detroit
Baltimore 12:05 PM
NY Yankees
Boston 12:05 PM
Tampa Bay
Toronto 12:05 PM
Pittsburgh
Atlanta 12:07 PM
Toronto
Washington 12:10 PM
NY Mets
Chicago Cubs 3:05 PM
Cincinnati
San Diego 3:05 PM
Texas
San Francisco 3:05 PM
Seattle
Colorado 3:05 PM
Chicago Cubs
Cleveland 3:05 PM
Milwaukee
Oakland 3:05 PM
Chicago WSox
Los Angeles 3:10 PM
LA Angels
Kansas City 3:10 PM
Arizona
Atlanta 6:00 PM
Charlotte
New York 7:00 PM
Chicago
Golden State 7:30 PM
Milwaukee
Oklahoma City 8:00 PM
Utah
Denver 9:00 PM
Portland
Nashville 11:30 AM
Washington
Arizona 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
San Jose 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Anaheim 12:00 PM
NY Islanders
NY Rangers 12:00 PM
Boston
Tampa Bay 1:00 PM
Detroit
New Jersey 6:00 PM
Carolina
Florida 6:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 6:00 PM
Toronto
Los Angeles 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Columbus 7:00 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 8:00 PM
Colorado
Dallas 9:00 PM
Vancouver
Arizona 5:09 PM
Wisconsin
Canisius 6:30 PM
NJIT
Notre Dame 7:49 PM
Kentucky
San Jose 2:00 PM
New England
Orlando City 3:00 PM
Montreal
Los Angeles 6:00 PM
D.C.
Sporting Kansas City 6:00 PM
New York City
Red Bull New York 6:30 PM
Columbus
Portland 7:00 PM
Vancouver FC
Colorado 7:30 PM
Houston
Seattle 7:30 PM
FC Dallas
Texas 12 1st Half 11:23
(1) Connecticut 21
Dayton 1:30 PM
(8) Louisville
(16) Duke 3:30 PM
(4) Maryland
Gonzaga 6:00 PM
(6) Tennessee
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: What are you following most closely right now?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close