The Timberwolves departed Target Center for yet another season with Monday's 96-80 loss to Utah that wasn't in any way how they wanted to say goodbye.
Four days after they pushed the Jazz to the end in a 107-100 loss at Salt Lake City, they trailed by as many as 22 points in the fourth quarter on a night when Utah had to win to keep its playoff hopes alive and did.
Monday's loss denied the Wolves their first home winning season since 2005-06. They finished 20-21.
"We just never had it," Wolves coach Rick Adelman said. "I don't know why. We just talked about it. We wanted to finish out playing better than that. I know they had something to play for, but it was our last home game. We should have had better effort, but we didn't."
The Jazz must win at Memphis on Wednesday and the Lakers must lose at home to Houston that night for Utah to reach the postseason.
"It is about Houston," said former Wolves center Al Jefferson, who followed Friday's career-high-tying 40 points against the Wolves with 22 points and eight rebounds Monday. "I guess I have to try to get in touch with Kevin [McHale] and tell him to handle it for me, and to give me a late birthday present."