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

NY Yankees 0 Top 8th Inning
Toronto 2
Detroit 3 Bottom 7th Inning
Chicago WSox 6
Chicago Cubs 4 Top 4th Inning
St. Louis 1
Cincinnati - A. Simon 3:05 PM
Pittsburgh - V. Worley
Minnesota - K. Gibson 6:05 PM
Baltimore - C. Tillman
Philadelphia - J. Williams 6:10 PM
NY Mets - B. Colon
Miami - J. Cosart 6:10 PM
Atlanta - A. Harang
Boston - A. Webster 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - J. Odorizzi
Cleveland - T. Bauer 6:10 PM
Kansas City - J. Shields
Detroit - K. Ryan 6:10 PM
Chicago WSox - C. Bassitt
Texas - R. Ross Jr. 6:10 PM
Houston - S. Feldman
Colorado - T. Matzek 7:10 PM
Arizona - V. Nuno
Chicago Cubs - T. Wada 7:15 PM
St. Louis - M. Gonzales
Los Angeles - Z. Greinke 7:40 PM
San Diego - I. Kennedy
Milwaukee - M. Fiers 8:05 PM
San Francisco - J. Peavy
Oakland - J. Samardzija 8:05 PM
LA Angels - C. Rasmus
Washington - S. Strasburg 8:10 PM
Seattle - R. Elias
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
BYU 35 FINAL
Connecticut 10
(6) Jacksonville St 7 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 45
Bowling Green 31 FINAL
Western Ky 59
TX-San Antonio 27 FINAL
Houston 7
Colorado State 31 FINAL
Colorado 17
UNLV 13 FINAL
Arizona 58
Penn State 26 FINAL
UCF 24
Troy 10 4th Qtr 3:00
UAB 48
(7) UCLA 28 4th Qtr 2:20
Virginia 20
Western Mich 34 4th Qtr 6:03
Purdue 37
(5) Ohio State 34 4th Qtr 2:09
Navy 17
Appalachian St 14 FINAL
Michigan 52
Ga Southern 20 4th Qtr 6:55
NC State 17
Boston College 0 1st Qtr 11:40
Massachusetts 0
West Virginia 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(8) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(1) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(17) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Colorado 3:00 PM
Seattle
New England 4:00 PM
Toronto FC
Columbus 6:30 PM
Montreal
FC Dallas 7:30 PM
Chicago
Real Salt Lake 9:30 PM
San Jose
Portland 9:30 PM
Vancouver FC
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Chicago 6:00 PM
Indiana
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