Mark this down as a bit of trivia and a milestone: With their Christmas win over the Lakers, the Timberwolves improved to 21-13. That puts them eight games over .500 for the first time since the 2003-04 season, which was also the last time they made the playoffs — going all the way that season to the Western Conference finals.
The Wolves finished that year 58-24 (34 games over .500, which is quite a few more than eight). In the following season, Minnesota was seven games over .500 a few times early on, the last being at 15-8. The Wolves lost eight of their next 10 games, and not long after that Flip Saunders was fired. Thus began the organization's descent into various rebuilds.
They made it to six games over .500 early in 2005-06. Since then, they hadn't really sniffed such a high-water mark as eight games over — until Monday, when they won their fourth game in a row by knocking off the Lakers 121-104.
Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. firstname.lastname@example.org.