Jerry Zgoda missed the entire Kevin Garnett era, but he's back covering the Timberwolves after working the beat for their first four seasons two decades ago. In between, he covered a bit of everything: Gopher men's and women's basketball and NCAA athletics, golf, outdoor recreation, sports media and a little Vikings and Twins.
The Warriors got big, bad news today, just hours before they play the Wolves tonight at Oracle Arena.
With a playoff series with the L.A. Clippers or Oklahoma City looming, the Warriors announced starting center Andrew Bogut is out indefinitely after he fractured a rib in Sunday's overtime loss at Portland.
"We're a no-excuse team," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. "It hurts, but we move forward."
Starting forward Andre Iguodala also isn't playing for Golden State, his knee is being rested for the playoffs that start this weekend.
Wolves center Ronny Turiaf is not expected to play tonight, either, after he played just four minutes Sunday in Sacramento because of that same right knee that caused him to miss 19 consecutive games in February and April.
The Wolves are getting their starting Kevins -- Love and Martin, of course -- back in the lineup for tonight's game at Sacramento.
Love is expected to start after he missed Friday's 112-110 victory over Houston because of a hypextended elbow injured two nights earlier against Chicago.
Martin is back after five games away because of what the team called a sore foot but which he said before tonight's game probably is some of the dreaded plantar fasciitis as well.
Meanwhile, Rudy Gay is out for the Kings and former Wolves forward Derrick Williams will start.
Just in time for Williams, who has a couple of his most active games against the Wolves this season.
In fact, since he scored 26 points against them at Target Center on March 16, Williams has scored 48 points in 12 games played -- exactly 4 points a game -- and didn't have more than eight points in any of those.
He played just five minutes -- none in the second half against a small opposing lineup -- and scored two points in Saturday's loss to the Clippers in L.A.
Kings guard Isaiah Thomas is available to play after he missed the last 10 games because of a quad contusion.
Well, just when you think nothing interesting will happen, this happens.
What a night. And I have to tell you, a night like this couldn’t happen to a better person than Corey Brewer. He scored 51 points, the most in a non-overtime game in Wolves history. He had a career-high six steals. He was relentless. And we had to wait for more than an hour after the game ended to talk with him because he had to take a league-mandated drug test.
So I guess this game had it all. Here are some thoughts on a very enjoyable Friday night:
--On Brewer’s night, there were other heroes. Gorgui Dieng had 20 rebounds and 12 points, the final four of which came in the final 38 seconds, including the game-winner with 4.6 seconds left. And Dante Cunningham (20 points, 13 rebounds) had his first career 20-10 game. Ricky Rubio had 16 points and 10 assists.
--the Wolves were a perfect 15-for-15 on the break tonight, where they scored 39 points.
--It was a long night, thanks to the 76 free throws taken between the two teams.
--One other Brewer stat: He played just a few seconds shy of 45 minutes. And the Rockets’ James Harden – who scored an amazing 33 points on just 14 shots – played 46.
--The Wolves scored 112 points tonight, and only eight of them came from the bench.
That’s about all for now. Jerry will be with the team on its two-game road swing in California. Have a good weekend.
Just another quick update with the news that Kevin Love is out of tonight's game with the hyperextended right elbow sustained Wednesday.
He may have been a late scratch; in his pre-game press conference coach Rick Adelman indicated Love would be able to play.
Dante Cunningham started in Love's place.
The Wolves didn’t shoot around this morning, but the Houston Rockets did. Here are some items from Rockets coach Kevin McHale:
--Center Dwight Howard and guard Patrick Beverley will not play tonight. Both will miss their eighth straight game, Howard with a left ankle strain and Beverley with a right knee sprain. That gives the Rockets an expected starting five of Chandler Parsons and Terrence Jones at forward, Omer Asik at center and James Harden and Jeremy Lin at guard.
--The last time these two teams played Wolves rookie center Gorgui Dieng had 22 points and 21 rebounds, perhaps his most impressive performance in what is becoming a very impressive finish. Count McHale as a fan. “He kind of came out of nowhere,” McHale said. “He’s active around the rim. He’s rebounding very well, blocking shots.’’
--McHale also talked about how much better Wolves point guard Ricky Rubio has been of late. “He’s been way more aggressive from the games I’ve seen than he’s been in the past,’’ McHale said.
That’s about it for now. I’ll get back to you before the game with a Wolves injury update.
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