Bench once again lets Wolves down in road loss to Houston

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 21, 2014 - 11:52 AM

Houston went on a 17-0 tear when the starters rested in the second quarter, and Minnesota never recovered.

– Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman has lamented more than once in recent days how his team, particularly when he has his bench players on the floor, can give up scoring runs so quickly it makes your head spin.

He had more to lament after Thursday’s 129-106 loss at Houston, other than yet another career night, and a historic one at that, from rookie center Gorgui Dieng.

Dieng delivered a 22-point, 21-rebound performance while starting his third consecutive game for injured Nikola Pekovic but it wasn’t enough to outshine the Rockets and their 17-0 second quarter run that changed the game.

James Harden scored 28 points for Houston and Kevin Love had 29 for the Wolves.

With their starters playing their second game in as many nights after Wednesday’s 123-122 overtime victory at Dallas, the Wolves once again experienced a second-quarter meltdown while Adelman tried to get those starters some rest.

Leading 41-31 with little more than two minutes gone in that second quarter, the Wolves surrendered in 3½ minutes a 19-2 run that included 17 consecutive Houston points.

By the time Adelman sent starters Love, Ricky Rubio, Kevin Martin, Corey Brewer and Dieng back into the game, the Wolves trailed 48-41 on their way to deficits that grew to 10 points by halftime and 28 in the second half.

Until Thursday, the Wolves had won nine of their past 13 games, including five of their last seven on the road. They now are 34-33 with 15 games left to play.

Both teams played without their starting centers: The Wolves without Pekovic and the Rockets without All Star Dwight Howard.

With Pekovic absent for the third consecutive game, Dieng started at center for the third game in a row and delivered his third consecutive double-double, this one by halftime, when he had 14 points and 10 rebounds.

His 20-20 game was the first ever by a Wolves rookie and he’s the fifth Wolves player to reach that.

The Rockets entered the game having averaged 13 made three-pointers a game in their last three meetings with the Wolves.

They surpassed that Thursday when they went 16-for-38 from beyond the three-point line.

After scoring 22 points on Wednesday night against Dallas, Ricky Rubio had just five points on 2-for-6 shooting. He did have eight assists. Backcourt mate Kevin Martin had just six points on 2-for-5 shooting.

  • related content

  • Video: From the Locker Room: Wolves lose despite Dieng's big night

    Friday March 21, 2014

    Rick Adelman and rookie Gorgui Dieng discuss Thursday's loss and Dieng's 22-point, 21-rebound night

  • BOXSCORE: Houston 129, Wolves 106

    Thursday March 20, 2014

  • Rubio trying to add floater to his game

    Thursday March 20, 2014

    HOUSTON – Yes, Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman confirmed it before Thursday night’s game at Houston: That indeed was a floater...

  • Wolves-Rockets game recap

    Friday March 21, 2014

    GAME RECAPImpact playerJames HardenWith Dwight Howard out, Harden provided both scoring (28 points) and playmaking (eight assists) and hit a...

  • Houston Rockets guard James Harden takes a shot during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Thursday, March 20, 2014, in Houston. The Rockets defeated the Timberwolves 129-106. (AP Photo/Patric Schneider)

  • Houston's Omri Casspi dunks the ball against the Wolves.

  • Gorgui Dieng and Kevin Love battled the Rockets’ Omer Asik for a rebound Thursday. Dieng finished with 21 rebounds, but Love finished with just six.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Texas - WP: N. Martinez 5 FINAL
Miami - LP: N. Eovaldi 4
Seattle - LP: J. Paxton 3 FINAL
Philadelphia - WP: C. Hamels 4
Toronto - WP: R. Dickey 9 FINAL
Milwaukee - LP: J. Nelson 5
NY Mets - WP: Z. Wheeler 8 FINAL
Oakland - LP: J. Samardzija 5
Atlanta - LP: D. Carpenter 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: M. Melancon 3
Houston - WP: S. Feldman 5 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: D. Huff 2
Arizona - LP: E. Marshall 2 FINAL
Washington - WP: R. Soriano 3
LA Angels - WP: C. Rasmus 8 FINAL
Boston - LP: C. Buchholz 3
Detroit - WP: R. Porcello 6 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: J. Odorizzi 0
Cincinnati - LP: J. Cueto 3 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: L. Lynn 7
San Francisco - WP: J. Peavy 8 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: E. Jackson 3
Baltimore - WP: W. Chen 4 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: H. Noesi 3
Cleveland - WP: T. House 5 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: R. Nolasco 0
Kansas City - LP: D. Duffy 2 FINAL
Colorado - WP: J. De La Rosa 5
San Diego - WP: E. Stults 4 FINAL
Los Angeles - LP: R. Hernandez 1
Pittsburgh 6:30 PM
Philadelphia
Carolina 8/22/14 6:30 PM
New England
NY Giants 8/22/14 6:30 PM
NY Jets
Jacksonville 8/22/14 6:30 PM
Detroit
Oakland 8/22/14 7:00 PM
Green Bay
Chicago 8/22/14 9:00 PM
Seattle
Tampa Bay 8/23/14 3:30 PM
Buffalo
Tennessee 8/23/14 6:00 PM
Atlanta
Dallas 8/23/14 6:00 PM
Miami
Washington 8/23/14 6:30 PM
Baltimore
New Orleans 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Indianapolis
Minnesota 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Kansas City
St. Louis 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Houston 8/23/14 8:00 PM
Denver
San Diego 8/24/14 3:00 PM
San Francisco
Cincinnati 8/24/14 7:00 PM
Arizona
Los Angeles 4 FINAL
Colorado 3
San Jose 1 FINAL
Seattle 1
Montreal 8/22/14 7:30 PM
Winnipeg
Toronto 8/23/14 3:00 PM
Edmonton
Calgary 8/24/14 2:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8/24/14 6:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Montreal
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 do you like the Kevin Love trade?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close