“Solid,” Pekovic said when asked how he felt out there. “Not great, not bad, somewhere between. I was just trying to be productive, try to do as much as I can. There was pain, it’s going to be there all the time. They say it’s safe to play with pain and I’m playing.”
The Wolves changed the game with a 24-6 run that started the second half and turned a 56-53 halftime deficit into a 77-62 lead when Love finished that burst by making a three-point shot with 4:12 remaining in the third quarter.
The Wolves outscored the Kings 31-14 in that third quarter, which is the fewest an opponent has scored against them in a third quarter this season.
That third quarter came after Adelman let his team know his displeasure with their first-half defense that allowed the Kings to shoot 70 percent in the first quarter and nearly 55 percent for the half.
“We’re not going to go anywhere if we don’t defend better than that,” Adelman said.
That defense also allowed Kings star Rudy Gay to score 22 points before halftime but just two points after it.
“He gave us a pretty good speech about not talking about it and doing it,” Martin said of a lecture Adelman delivered in the huddle just before the third quarter’s start. “We took pride in that and that’s what we did, just getting stops.”
Wolves forward Corey Brewer helped limit Gay to just one field-goal attempt in the third quarter and three in the second half after Gay made four first-half three-pointers and shot what Adelman called at least “three wide-open” threes.
“Twenty-two in the first half,” Brewer said. “I thought if we stopped him, we’d win the game. I think I did a pretty good job, give him two. That ain’t too bad a second half. We just came and knew we had to get stops. We didn’t get no stops in the first half. Everybody took the challenge individually and we had to guard their guy, and I think everybody guarded their guy.”