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.
Rick Adelman's wife and son wiped away tears in the moments after the Timberwolves' 107-101 victory over Detroit placed their coach in that exclusive club of now only eight men who have won 1000 NBA games.
Adelman got hugs and congratulations from his players when they finally got him to that threshold, just 24 hours after the same opportunity slipped away with a home loss to Toronto.
This time, the Wolves took an 11-point, first-half lead and hung on all the way to the end, even though the Pistons got back to even and create many nervous moments in the game's final minutes.
Adelman wrapped an arm around his wife Mary Kay as a video tribute played on the big overhead scoreboard and then he addressed the crowd in a special post-game interview with team play-by-play guy Dave Benz conducted on the court.
In the press room after that, Adelman talked at length about the evening's meaning, particularly the chance to do it at home with his wife in attendance.
Here's the game story from Saturday, with many of his comments.
There also should be video up by morning of his post-game presser.
A couple other quick things:
* Ricky Rubio had his left shoulder wrapped in ice after the game.
He hurt it in the third quarter after colliding with Brandon Knight and was in obvious pain.
Asked if it'll be all right, he said afterward, "I hope so."
Rubio missed his first 12 field-goal attempts, but made his final one, a crucial one in the final minute that helped keep the Pistons away.
He'll have a couple days to let his shoulder heal: Adelman gave his players Sunday AND Monday off before they fly Monday afternoon to San Francisco to begin a three-game Western trip.
* David Kahn consoled Alexey Shved at his locker after the game.
The rookie guard played less than four minutes Saturday after playing eight minutes against Toronto.
He obviously has struggled here down the stretch of a long NBA season that he's experiencing for the first time.
Kevin Love did not get his healing shooting hand scanned yesterday or today and will be re-evaluated sometime next week.
He is not expected to return to his New York City surgeon, so expect him to get his hand imaged sometime then and the results sent to his doctor to see if he will cleared for contact action.
That doesn't necessarily mean he won't play again this season, but the clock is ticking.
If he gets evaluated at the end of next week, that leaves about 12 days -- and eight games at the very most -- left in the season.
Love was told he'd be re-evaluated in two to three weeks when he visited his NYC surgeon earlier this month.
Next week will be three weeks.
The NBA today says official Jason Phillips made the wrong call at the end of last night's Lakers-Wolves game at Target Center.
But you knew that already, didn't you?
The league reviewed the play and told the Wolves this morning that Bryant fouled Ricky Rubio at game's end and this afternoon is expected to make an official explanation.
Rubio was left livid when he launched a long game-tying three-pointer at the final buzzer that Bryant contested by getting a hand on Rubio's wrist, contact that caused the final shot to fly left and fall short.
The league said:
"Ricky Rubio attempted a 3-point shot at the buzzer of the Los Angeles Lakers’ 120-117 win over the Timberwolves on March 27. Video review by the league office confirmed that Kobe Bryant fouled Rubio while Rubio was in his shooting motion. Rubio should have been awarded three free throws."
You can see the league's explaination with a video link here.
Bryant after the game said, "That's not a foul. Nah, they ain't calling that ...."
He also said this about if the foul had been called and if Rubio had made the three free throws to force overtime, "We would have went into overtime and won the game. Simple as that."
Rubio was near tears after the game when he spoke about the final play.
“I don’t like to lose," he said. "I hate it. Sometimes it’s tough when you give everything and something like that happens. Just keep going through, it’s tough, it’s tough.”
Asked what kind of look he had at the basket and if he felt he would have made the shot, Rubio said, “I don’t want to think about it.”
Asked if the referees would have called a foul if it hadn’t been a superstar contesting his shot, he said, “I mean, what do you want me to say? I don’t know.”
Chase Budinger declared himself ready to play tonight in Sacramento for the first time in four months.
He said his surgically repaired knee felt fine when he awoke Thursday morning in Sacramento after participating in his first contact practice with teammates on Wednesday.
"It just felt good to go up and down and see how the knee felt, go up and down and see how my wind was," Budinger said. "It was just a good indication where I'm at. I am a little rusty, but hopefully I got all the rust out yesterday."
Neither Budinger nor Rick Adelman knew how much Budinger will play tonight against the Kings.
Adelman called it a "perfect storm" that he is limiting Andrei Kirilenko to six minutes stretches and now will probably do so with Budinger.
"Maybe we'll just keep alternating them back and forth until somebody tells me they're at their limit," Adelman said.
The Wolves finish up their season series with the streaking Nuggets tonight in Denver, a place where the home team is 28-3 and hasn't lost since losing to Washington on Jan. 18.
One of those three teams, though, was the Wolves.
That was way back on Jan. 3, the night Kevin Love broke his hand for the second time this season and the Wolves came roaring back to win without him.
Mighty Miami is the only other team to beat the Nuggets at home.
The Nuggets haven't lost anywhere since a Feb. 22 defeat at Washington.
They have won their last seven -- four of them at home -- since then.
The Wolves will be fighting against the odds again tonight because they once again have only nine players healthy.
Love, Nikola Pekovic and Andrei Kirilenko, among others, are back home, but Brandon Roy is here traveling with his teammates.
The Wolves fly home right after tonight's game and play Dallas tomorrow night at Target Center in a 6 o'clock tip.
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