Timberwolves rookie Andrew Wiggins went to the free-throw line 12 times Monday in Oklahoma City on his way to a 23-point night, his first 20-point game since he scored a career-high 31 points in Denver nine days earlier.
With one hand on his wallet and without elaborating, Wolves coach Flip Saunders suggested he could have shot nearly twice that many.
“He should have shot 22 tonight,” Saunders said afterward.
Both Saunders and Wiggins gave the impression that Wiggins didn’t — and isn’t — getting the calls he deserves, particularly around the basket. Saunders received a technical foul for arguing a call against Wiggins on Monday and his son Ryan intervened to ensure he didn’t get a second and an automatic ejection.
Saunders thought he had been ejected from Sunday’s loss at Atlanta but was summoned back to the bench by his assistant coaches and told he had received just one technical, not two, while arguing with officials.
But on that subject of not getting their due, Saunders had a message for Wiggins and his young players: Get over it.
“Right now, as I told our guys, when you’re a young team and you’re not winning and you’re a young player, you don’t get the benefit,” he said. “I said you guys have to take care of yourselves out there because I can’t keep giving away money every night, getting technical fouls trying to prove your point. At some point, you’ve got to step out there and take care of things yourself.”
Wanted: point guard
Unwilling to do so until now, the Wolves remain in need of point-guard help and could sign the D League’s Lorenzo Brown in time for Wednesday’s home game vs. Boston.
Backup center Miroslav Raduljica’s second 10-day contract expires Wednesday, giving the team choices with an open roster spot at the same time starting point guard Mo Williams’ status is uncertain because of a hip injury that left him hurting by the end of Monday’s game.
Injured at Atlanta on Sunday, Williams made just one of 10 shots while playing nearly 30 minutes.
“I’d say he’s pretty questionable, just the way he operated tonight at the end of the game,” Saunders said Monday.
Rookie Zach LaVine would be the only healthy point guard if Williams can’t play and the team’s doesn’t add another. At this point, they’re also without emergency backup point guard Robbie Hummel, who broke his shooting hand Sunday.
The Wolves selected Brown in the 2013 draft’s second round but waived him late in the preseason.
LaVine favored to win slam dunk contest
LaVine will participate in All-Star Weekend’s Saturday night slam-dunk contest at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center next month and probably is the favorite to win.
LaVine is the sixth Wolves player chosen to compete in the contest. Orlando’s Victor Oladipo, Brooklyn’s Mason Plumlee and Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo are the other three participants.
Isaiah Rider is the only Wolf to win the slam dunk contest. He did so in 1994 and tried unsuccessfully to defend his title in 1995. Other Wolves who competed: Derrick Williams in 2012, Gerald Green in 2008, Chris Carr in 1997 and Doug West in 1992.
“I’ll have something,” LaVine said when asked about a possible invitation.
Williams wasn’t the only player with a tough shooting night on Monday. Center Nikola Pekovic made three of 12 shots and scored eight points in his fourth game back after he missed 31 consecutive games because of injury.
“Pek’s in training camp basically,” Saunders said, “so he doesn’t have his legs.”
Love and a show
The Grammy-winning 1990s hip-hop group Naughty by Nature will perform at halftime of Saturday’s game that brings Cleveland and former Wolves star Kevin Love to Target Center for the only time this season.