Wolves' Dieng has impressive first start

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 16, 2014 - 11:43 PM

First, the bad news for the Timberwolves on Sunday night against Sacramento at Target Center: Starting center Nikola Pekovic didn’t play because of that painful right ankle and foot that sidelined him for nearly all of February and caused him to leave Friday’s loss at Charlotte early in the third quarter.

Now the good news: Kings star center DeMarcus Cousins didn’t play either, scratched not long before game time because of right knee tendinitis.

Rookie Gorgui Dieng started his first NBA game for the Wolves when Sacramento countered Cousins’ absence by starting 7-footer Aaron Gray rather than go small there with power forward Jason Thompson inserted into the starting lineup.

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

Pekovic continued to receive treatment on his ankle and said he’s hoping two days off before the Wolves next play Wednesday at Dallas will help ease the bursitis pain.

“It just feels like your legs feel stuck,” he said. “Whatever you want to do, you can’t do it.”

Feels like home

Former Timberwolves forward Derrick Williams returned to Target Center and played his old mates Sunday for the second time since the team traded him to Sacramento for Luc Mbah a Moute in November.

He scored 16 points in a victory over the Wolves there in January and trumped that performance by scoring that many in just 11 minutes in the first half Sunday. He finished with 26 points and 11 rebounds in 28 minutes.

“It’s nothing against them, but you always want to play well against the team you used to be on,” Williams said before the game.

Two coaches, one opinion

Sacramento coach Mike Malone touched on the same theme — consistency, or lack thereof — when talking about Williams, as the 2011 No. 2 overall pick’s former coach, Rick Adelman, often discussed.

“When he plays aggressive and plays to his strengths — his athleticism, gets out and runs the floor in attack mode — he’s very effective,” Malone said. “When he doesn’t, he, like the rest of our team, becomes a passive player and is not nearly as effective.

‘‘He has been a great pickup. He’s a great kid. These last 16 games are big games for him. We want him to show what he can do on a consistent basis. Not once every couple games, but do it every night.”

Out of sight, out of…

The Kings will get their first look at former Houston first-round pick Royce White when they return from their long trip to play Washington on Tuesday. The Kings recalled White — the Minneapolis-raised point forward who hasn’t played an NBA game since he was drafted in 2012 because of issues surrounding his anxiety disorder — from their D League team on Thursday.

Malone wasn’t too chatty when asked what White might give his team.

“I’ll be honest, I haven’t seen Royce play once,” Malone said. “When we get back, I’ll have a chance to see him play, but I’ve been worried about our team on this road trip. I know he played down in the D League, but I haven’t seen Royce play at all.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Detroit 69 FINAL
Philadelphia 89
Portland 94 FINAL
Cleveland 99
Sacramento 102 FINAL
Toronto 119
Boston 98 FINAL
Minnesota 110
Dallas 94 FINAL
Houston 99
Denver 93 FINAL
New Orleans 85
Brooklyn 102 FINAL
Atlanta 113
Oklahoma City 92 FINAL
New York 100
Charlotte 86 FINAL
San Antonio 95
LA Clippers 94 FINAL
Utah 89
Washington 98 FINAL
Phoenix 106
Toronto 1 FINAL(SO)
New Jersey 2
Pittsburgh 0 FINAL
Washington 4
Chicago 3 FINAL
Los Angeles 4
Temple 86 FINAL
UCF 62
Winthrop 75 FINAL
Coastal Carolina 68
Lafayette 59 FINAL
Colgate 54
Northeastern 60 FINAL
Drexel 65
Wake Forest 76 FINAL
Florida State 82
Rhode Island 64 FINAL
Fordham 63
Delaware 82 FINAL
James Madison 88
South Carolina 58 FINAL
LSU 64
New Hampshire 63 FINAL
Maine 58
Seton Hall 80 FINAL
Marquette 70
Binghamton 68 FINAL
American Univ 54 FINAL
Navy 64
Elon 65 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 82
Wright State 76 FINAL
Oakland 84
Minnesota 58 FINAL
Penn State 63
Duquesne 55 FINAL
Richmond 86
South Florida 52
Hartford 66 FINAL
Stony Brook 72
Albany 47 FINAL
Vermont 44
Hofstra 79 FINAL
William & Mary 100
UNC-Asheville 74 FINAL
Longwood 64
Radford 84 FINAL
Char Southern 77
Holy Cross 0 Postponed
Loyola-Maryland 0
Duke 73 FINAL
Notre Dame 77
Texas Tech 36 FINAL
Oklahoma 81
Oregon State 55 FINAL
Arizona State 73
Morehead State 82 FINAL
Austin Peay 69
Drake 69 FINAL
Bradley 57
Lehigh 62 FINAL
Bucknell 68
Rice 48 FINAL
Houston 59
Missouri State 57 FINAL
Illinois State 67
Loyola-Chicago 47 FINAL
Wichita State 58
Nebraska Omaha 64 FINAL
South Dakota St 86
Northern Iowa 59 FINAL
Southern Ill 52
Louisville 81 FINAL
Boston College 72
St Johns 74 FINAL
Creighton 77
East Carolina 58 FINAL
Memphis 70
Georgia Tech 70 FINAL
Miami-Florida 50
Miss State 73 FINAL
Ole Miss 79
Clemson 68 FINAL
NC State 57
Indiana 67 FINAL
Purdue 83
Kansas 64 FINAL
TCU 61
Oregon 56 FINAL
Arizona 90
Air Force 66 FINAL
San Jose St 52
Stanford 84 FINAL
Washington 74
Rider 56 FINAL
Siena 49
Dayton 76 FINAL
Richmond 62
Eastern Kentucky 53 FINAL
Jacksonville St 73
Saint Josephs 0 Postponed
Saint Louis 0
Binghamton 55
Akron 60 FINAL
Ohio U 72
Ball State 72 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 55
Memphis 56 FINAL
Cincinnati 44
East Carolina 32 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 87
Murray State 59 FINAL
Eastern Illinois 75
Kent State 63 FINAL
Central Michigan 65
UT Martin 64 FINAL
Tennessee St 58
Eastern Michigan 56 FINAL
Western Mich 83
Bucknell 61 FINAL
Lehigh 76
Indiana 57 FINAL
Michigan State 72
Colgate 56 FINAL
Lafayette 58
Fordham 66 FINAL
Davidson 45
Duquesne 76 FINAL
St Bonaventure 64
George Mason 66 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 70
Detroit 59 FINAL
Youngstown St 58
Army 0 Postponed
Boston U 0
Loyola-Maryland 0 Postponed
Holy Cross 0
Tulsa 74
Oklahoma St 54 FINAL
Kansas State 52
West Virginia 57 FINAL
Texas Tech 73
Denver 56 FINAL
South Dakota 82
Northwestern St 46 FINAL
Central Arkansas 63
Austin Peay 67 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 87
Kansas 61 FINAL
Iowa State 56
Bowling Green 50 FINAL
Northern Ill 67
Penn State 64 FINAL
Minnesota 75
San Jose St 80 FINAL
Air Force 83
Boise State 82 FINAL
Colorado State 83
Utah State 51 FINAL
Wyoming 86
San Diego State 50 FINAL
Fresno State 57
Nevada 52 FINAL
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Which local team is currently the biggest disappointment?

Weekly Question