HOUSTON – Timberwolves veteran point guard Ricky Rubio moved beyond Thursday’s eventful trade deadline from which nothing occurred with Friday’s 13-point, 14-assist, five-rebound, three-steal game in a home victory over Dallas.
He followed that up with a 14-point, 11-assist effort Saturday night. All of his points came in the fourth quarter.
He was asked afterward if he was able to move forward after all that happened during the week and go back to work after both the deadline and the nine-day All-Star break.
“What happened this week?” he asked.
Ultimately, the only thing to happen was despite all the rumors, Rubio stayed put. Just like last year.
“Nothing happened, right?” he asked. “Life goes on.”
It went on with a 97-84 victory over the Mavericks and continued on to a four-game trip that the Wolves started Saturday in Houston, ends a week later in San Antonio and includes games Monday at Sacramento and Wednesday at Utah in between.
They are doing so with Rubio, Shabazz Muhammad and everybody who was on the team before Thursday’s deadline still present for a season-ending, 25-game push for the playoffs.
Teammate Karl-Anthony Towns said after Friday’s game that he’s happy to have Rubio pushing the ball and passing the ball. Friday’s victory was the Wolves’ 12th in the past 21 games.
“Ricky is a big part of our team,” Towns said. “Not even from just a skill and leader standpoint. But just morale. Just seeing him in the locker room lifts us up. Like I said before — and I always tell Ricky this — we’re so honored to have him on our team.”
On the road again
Starting with Saturday’s game, the Wolves play 16 of their final 24 games on the road, including 11 of their last 15.
“You just deal with your schedule the way it comes,” Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau said.
“In the end, you’re playing 41 home, 41 road. I don’t want to get lost in stuff that’s not important. Just be ready for the Rockets. Just get through things. That’s the challenge of this league: Just be ready for today.”
Step right up
Veteran sixth-man Lou Williams stepped directly into the Rockets’ rotation without so much as a shootaround — let alone a practice — after Thursday’s trade brought him from the Los Angeles Lakers for Corey Brewer and a first-round pick.
He scored 27 points off the bench during Thursday’s 129-99 victory over New Orleans and had 17 more on Saturday.
“Seems like it,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said when asked if Williams doesn’t need practice. “We’ll try not to mess him up.”
Young Wolves star Andrew Wiggins set a franchise record Saturday by scoring 30 points to become the first Timberwolf to score at least 20 points in 17 consecutive games.
Kevin Garnett did it in 16 consecutive games twice.
Lost in his pursuit: Towns has scored 20 in 14 consecutive games himself after scoring 37 on Saturday.
“He’s getting over 25 about every night,” D’Antoni said about Wiggins. “He has always been good. He’s talented. He’s playing really well. He and towns both are playing really well. They’ve got great futures obviously.”
Patrick Beverley played Saturday, even though D’Antoni said 90 minutes before game time that Beverley’s tightness in his groin would keep him from playing. He finished with 15 points.