Wolves hold on to beat Sacramento

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 18, 2014 - 1:25 AM

Gorgui Dieng had his first double-double and blocked five shots while Kevin Martin scored 31.

With starting center Nikola Pekovic out once again because of that bothersome right ankle Sunday, the Timberwolves asked rookie Gorgui Dieng to produce a career performance. In his first career start, he delivered just what they needed in a 104-102 victory over Sacramento.

Dieng played 37 indispensable minutes — 15 more than his career high. That gave star Kevin Love’s weary body some much-needed rest and coincided with the Kings resting star center DeMarcus Cousins (knee tendinitis) at the end of a seven-game trip.

Dieng delivered 12 points, 11 rebounds and five blocked shots, all highs in a short career that now numbers just 43 games.

“I was just like ready, I was ready to play,” Dieng said afterward. “They needed me tonight. A lot of guys go down on this basketball team, and when you get a chance, you need to step up. I got a chance, and I did all right.”

Dieng’s play pushed the Wolves back above .500 for the season at 33-32. Both he and fellow rookie Robbie Hummel provided decisive contributions while Kings point guard Isaiah Thomas and former Timberwolves lottery pick Derrick Williams wouldn’t let the Kings go quietly into the good night, even with Cousins missing.

“I was surprised, I didn’t expect that,” Wolves coach Rick Adelman said of Cousins sitting out. “But we didn’t have our big guy playing, either. Maybe they were trying to be fair.”

Without their own double-double machine, the Kings erased a 10-point, first-quarter deficit and led 54-53 at halftime. They led by a point again with just 1:26 left in the game before Love delivered a crucial three-point shot with fresh enough legs that sent the Wolves on a 6-0 run and a 100-95 lead with 16.7 seconds remaining.

Dieng’s presence gave Love a fourth-quarter breather and allowed him to play only 38½ minutes.

“I needed some rest,” Love said. ‘‘For Cousins not to be in helped me more than anybody,” Love said.

But just as Denver did at Target Center last month, the Kings fired up threes at game’s end, and made them. Thomas’ consecutive three-pointers within seven seconds forced Wolves guard Kevin Martin to make six free throws in those final 16 seconds. And Dieng found himself at the free-throw line with just one second remaining as the Wolves gripped that 104-102 lead tight.

“I told J.J. let’s not have another Denver situation,” Love said, referring to teammate J.J. Barea, “and we had another Denver situation.”

When Dieng missed the first free throw, Adelman called a timeout, during which he instructed Dieng to miss his second shot but still hit the rim so the Kings would have no chance to heave a winning shot.

He did as he was told and Adelman reacted with rare emotion when he did so.

“He was teaching me how to miss it,” Dieng said. “So when I hit the rim and missed it, he gave me a high-five.”

His teammates praised Dieng also for an aim that was just good enough.

“I think he wasn’t supposed to miss the first one,” Wolves point guard Ricky Rubio said. “But he did a great a job missing the second one, so we give him credit for that.”

His teammates also gave him credit for everything else he did, and they needed all of it and then some.

“Without him, we wouldn’t have won the game,” Martin said after scoring a game-high 31 points that included 14-for-14 shooting from the free-throw line. “Without Robbie [Hummel], we wouldn’t have won the game.”

  • related content

  • Video: From the Locker Room: Adelman and the rookies

    Monday March 17, 2014

    Rick Adelman and rookies Gorgui Dieng and Robbie Hummel discuss Sunday's 104-102 victory over Sacramento

  • Photo gallery: Wolves 104, Sacramento 102

    Sunday March 16, 2014

    The Timberwolves beat the Sacramento Kings 104-102 at Target Center Sunday evening.

  • Wolves' Dieng has impressive first start

    Sunday March 16, 2014

    Dieng scored 12 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked five shots in 37 minutes.

  • Wolves game recap

    Sunday March 16, 2014

    GAME RECAPImpact playerGorgui Dieng, WolvesThe rookie backup center delivered career highs across the board in a 37-minute, 12-point, 11-rebound, five-blocked-shot...

  • Playoff chase: NBA conference standings

    Tuesday March 4, 2014

  • Timberwolves center Gorgui Dieng, left, stripped the ball from Kings forward Derrick Williams as Williams drove to the basket Sunday.

  • Wolves Gorgui Dieng (5) blocked the shot of Kings Rudy Gay. ] Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Sacramento Kings (MARLIN LEVISON/STARTRIBUNE(mlevison@startribune.com)

  • Gorgui Dieng (top photo) blocked five shots in his starting debut while Kevin Martin (bottom) led all scorers with 31 points, including hitting six free throws in the final 16 seconds.

  • WOLVES 104, SACRAMENTO 102

    Up next: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Dallas • TV: FSN (830-AM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Cleveland 26 FINAL
Atlanta 24
Tennessee 24 FINAL
Philadelphia 43
Detroit 9 FINAL
New England 34
Green Bay 24 FINAL
Minnesota 21
Jacksonville 3 FINAL
Indianapolis 23
Cincinnati 22 FINAL
Houston 13
Tampa Bay 13 FINAL
Chicago 21
Arizona 3 FINAL
Seattle 19
St. Louis 24 FINAL
San Diego 27
Miami 36 FINAL
Denver 39
Washington 13 FINAL
San Francisco 17
Dallas 31 FINAL
NY Giants 28
NY Jets 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Baltimore 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 11/27/14 11:30 AM
Detroit
Philadelphia 11/27/14 3:30 PM
Dallas
Seattle 11/27/14 7:30 PM
San Francisco
LA Clippers 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Portland 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Orlando 6:00 PM
Cleveland
Phoenix 6:30 PM
Toronto
New York 7:00 PM
Houston
Indiana 7:30 PM
Dallas
Chicago 8:00 PM
Utah
Pittsburgh 6:00 PM
Boston
Philadelphia 6:00 PM
NY Islanders
Ottawa 6:30 PM
Detroit
Minnesota 6:30 PM
Florida
East Carolina 11:00 AM
Green Bay
Nevada 12:30 PM
Weber State
Evansville 1:30 PM
Fresno State
Purdue 1:30 PM
Kansas State
Dillard 3:00 PM
Alcorn State
Clemson 3:00 PM
LSU
Georgia State 3:30 PM
Chicago State
MD-Eastern Shore 3:30 PM
Detroit
Missouri 4:00 PM
Arizona
Austin Peay 4:30 PM
Indiana State
Milwaukee 5:00 PM
Louisiana
Marist 5:00 PM
Fla Gulf Coast
Gardner-Webb 5:30 PM
Old Dominion
Hampton 6:00 PM
Appalachian St
Grambling St 6:00 PM
Ball State
FIU 6:00 PM
Ga Southern
Jacksonville 6:00 PM
IUPU-Ft Wayne
Colgate 6:00 PM
James Madison
Savannah State 6:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona State 6:00 PM
Maryland
Santa Clara 6:00 PM
Michigan State
Western Carolina 6:00 PM
Oakland
SE Louisiana 6:00 PM
Tenn Tech
Bucknell 6:00 PM
Toledo
Villanova 6:00 PM
VA Commonwealth
Nicholls 6:00 PM
Wake Forest
East Tenn St 6:00 PM
Winthrop
Murray State 6:00 PM
Xavier
Eastern Wash 6:30 PM
Indiana
Stephen F Austin 7:00 PM
Baylor
Lipscomb 7:00 PM
Belmont
Brown 7:00 PM
Illinois
Pepperdine 7:00 PM
Iowa
Rider 7:00 PM
Kansas
Prairie View 7:00 PM
Memphis
Clayton State 7:00 PM
Miss State
Miss Valley St 7:00 PM
TCU
TX A&M-Int 7:00 PM
Incarnate Word
Oregon State 7:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Hawaii 7:30 PM
San Francisco
Seton Hall 8:00 PM
Illinois State
NJIT 8:00 PM
Marquette
Stetson 8:00 PM
New Mexico St
Florida A&M 8:00 PM
Wyoming
Pittsburgh 8:00 PM
Chaminade
Alabama 8:30 PM
Iowa State
Michigan 8:30 PM
Oregon
Colorado Christian 8:30 PM
Northern Colorado
Chadron State 8:30 PM
South Dakota St
Western Mich 9:00 PM
San Diego
SIU Edwardsville 9:05 PM
Portland State
Tulsa 10:00 PM
Auburn
BYU 10:30 PM
San Diego St
Char Southern 9 FINAL
(8) Georgia 55
South Alabama 12 FINAL
So Carolina 37
Rutgers 3 FINAL
(10) Michigan State 45
(22) Minnesota 28 FINAL
Nebraska 24
Northwestern 38 FINAL
Purdue 14
(19) Marshall 23 FINAL
UAB 18
Kansas 7 FINAL
(20) Oklahoma 44
Indiana 27 FINAL
(7) Ohio State 42
Penn State 14 FINAL
Illinois 16
(16) Eastern Ky 3 FINAL
Florida 52
TX-San Antonio 7 FINAL
Western Ky 45
SMU 7 FINAL
UCF 53
Tulsa 28 FINAL
Houston 38
Virginia Tech 3 FINAL
Wake Forest 6
Washington St 31 FINAL
(13) Arizona State 52
Louisiana Tech 27 FINAL
Old Dominion 30
Western Mich 32 FINAL
Central Mich 20
New Mexico 20 FINAL
(21) Colorado State 58
Eastern Mich 30 FINAL
Ball State 45
Appalachian St 35 FINAL
Louisiana 16
(12) Arizona 42 FINAL
Utah 10
FIU 14 FINAL
North Texas 17
(18) Ole Miss 0 FINAL
Arkansas 30
(24) Louisville 31 FINAL
Notre Dame 28
Maryland 23 FINAL
Michigan 16
Texas Tech 34 FINAL
Iowa State 31
(14) Wisconsin 26 FINAL
Iowa 24
Syracuse 7 FINAL
Pittsburgh 30
Boston College 17 FINAL
(1) Florida State 20
Georgia State 0 FINAL
(23) Clemson 28
Tulane 6 FINAL
East Carolina 34
Stanford 38 FINAL
California 17
Western Carolina 14 FINAL
(2) Alabama 48
ULM 30 FINAL
New Mexico St 17
So Florida 20 FINAL
Memphis 31
Colorado 10 FINAL
(3) Oregon 44
Fla Atlantic 34 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 35
Samford 7 FINAL
(15) Auburn 31
Miami-Florida 13 FINAL
Virginia 30
Vanderbilt 0 FINAL
(4) Miss State 51
(17) Missouri 29 FINAL
Tennessee 21
Oklahoma State 28 FINAL
(5) Baylor 49
USC 20 FINAL
(9) UCLA 38
Cincinnati 41 FINAL
Connecticut 0
(25) Boise State 63 FINAL
Wyoming 14
Oregon State 13 FINAL
Washington 37
Fresno State 40 FINAL
Nevada 20
UNLV 35 FINAL
Hawaii 37
Ohio U 11/25/14 6:00 PM
Miami-Ohio
LSU 11/27/14 6:30 PM
Texas A&M
(6) TCU 11/27/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Northern Ill 11/28/14 10:00 AM
Western Mich
Nebraska 11/28/14 11:00 AM
Iowa
Western Ky 11/28/14 11:00 AM
(19) Marshall
UCF 11/28/14 11:00 AM
So Florida
Houston 11/28/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Akron 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Kent State
Ball State 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Bowling Green
Buffalo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Massachusetts
Toledo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Arkansas 11/28/14 1:30 PM
(17) Missouri
Navy 11/28/14 2:00 PM
South Alabama
(13) Arizona State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(12) Arizona
Stanford 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(9) UCLA
(21) Colorado State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
Virginia 11/28/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
East Carolina 11/28/14 7:30 PM
Tulsa
North Texas 11/29/14 11:00 AM
TX-San Antonio
Old Dominion 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Fla Atlantic
(16) Georgia Tech 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(8) Georgia
Kentucky 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(24) Louisville
So Carolina 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(23) Clemson
West Virginia 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Rice 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Louisiana Tech
Michigan 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(7) Ohio State
Purdue 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Indiana
Illinois 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Northwestern
Cincinnati 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Temple
NC State 11/29/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Syracuse 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Louisiana 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Troy
Utah 11/29/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Texas State 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Idaho 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Appalachian St
Wyoming 11/29/14 2:00 PM
New Mexico
New Mexico St 11/29/14 2:00 PM
Arkansas State
UAB 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(4) Miss State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Notre Dame 11/29/14 2:30 PM
USC
(10) Michigan State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Penn State
(22) Minnesota 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(14) Wisconsin
(5) Baylor 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Texas Tech
Florida 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
Rutgers 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Maryland
San Jose St 11/29/14 2:30 PM
San Diego St
Tennessee 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Kansas 11/29/14 3:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Connecticut 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Memphis
BYU 11/29/14 3:30 PM
California
ULM 11/29/14 5:00 PM
Ga Southern
Middle Tennessee 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Hawaii 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Fresno State
Wake Forest 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Duke
Pittsburgh 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Miami-Florida
(15) Auburn 11/29/14 6:45 PM
(2) Alabama
(3) Oregon 11/29/14 7:00 PM
Oregon State
Utah State 11/29/14 9:15 PM
(25) Boise State
Washington 11/29/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Nevada 11/29/14 9:30 PM
UNLV
Montreal 24 FINAL
Hamilton 40
Edmonton 18 FINAL
Calgary 43
Grambling 11:00 AM
George Washington
Saint Louis 11:30 AM
Vanderbilt
NW Nazarene 3:00 PM
Idaho State
Millersville 4:30 PM
Delaware State
NC State 5:00 PM
Tulane
Harvard 5:00 PM
(3) Notre Dame
Austin Peay 5:00 PM
Chattanooga
Brescia 5:00 PM
Morehead St
Bradley 6:00 PM
Stony Brook
Mount Ida 6:00 PM
UMass Lowell
Rhode Island 6:00 PM
Columbia
TX A&M-CC 6:00 PM
Rice
Cornell 6:00 PM
Fairfield
St Johns 6:00 PM
Marist
Tennessee St 6:00 PM
(4) Tennessee
Troy 6:00 PM
Florida A&M
Sam Houston St 6:00 PM
South Dakota St
Campbell 6:00 PM
Western Carolina
North Florida 6:00 PM
Samford
UNC Greensboro 6:00 PM
Longwood
Western State 6:00 PM
Northern Colorado
Thomas (GA) 6:00 PM
Georgia State
Loyola-Maryland 6:00 PM
(9) Maryland
Barton 6:00 PM
UNC-Asheville
Quinnipiac 7:00 PM
Holy Cross
Missouri State 7:00 PM
Oral Roberts
Prairie View 7:00 PM
(5) Texas A&M
Eastern Washington 7:00 PM
Abilene Christian
Cal-Irvine 7:00 PM
South Dakota
East Tenn St 7:05 PM
Indiana State
(6) Stanford 8:00 PM
New Mexico
Cal State Fullerton 8:00 PM
Weber State
Sacramento St 8:00 PM
St Marys-CA
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