SALT LAKE CITY – Jared Terrell has been dutifully living the life of a two-way player in the NBA.
There are stretches where Terrell is playing heavy minutes with the Timberwolves’ G-League affiliate. Then other times he comes back to the Wolves, practices and waits. Usually Terrell only plays mop-up duty, if he plays at all.
But mop-up duty wasn’t why Terrell was on the floor Thursday night in the Wolves’ 120-105 victory over the Lakers.
After Derrick Rose exited the game because of right ankle soreness, Terrell was charged with backing up Jerryd Bayless. Terrell entered late in the third quarter and hit his first shot, a shot-clock buzzer-beating three-pointer, and from there his night and the Wolves’ only got better. He finished with 10 points on 4-for-5 shooting, including a pair of three-pointers.
“It’s just part of the process, being a two-way player, traveling, going back and forth between the two teams. I just got to stay ready,” Terrell said.
Terrell played in college at Rhode Island and led the Rams 16.8 points per game while shooting 41 percent from three-point range during his senior season. With G-League Iowa, Terrell was averaging 15.5 points but shooting only 29 percent from three-point range. His confidence didn’t waver Thursday when he had to shoot.
“You just have to stay mentally ready and stay locked in … ” Terrell said. “It’s probably the most challenging thing to do actually. Physically, you’ve been playing the game your whole life but mentally locking in — you don’t know when you’re going to play and snap of the fingers you’re in the game, playing crucial minutes.”
Teague, Rose updates
Rose, who sat out Friday’s game, said he was dealing with a ligament injury in his ankle.
“This is the first time I’ve had to deal with a ligament,” Rose said. “The other ankle injury was a twist or what everybody has — bone spurs and you just got to find a way to play around that. But I guess with the ligament, it’s a little bit different and I have to find a way to get around it.”
Jeff Teague, who missed his third consecutive game, said his left foot injury wasn’t getting better and he was awaiting further test results on the injury. “It’s annoying, but nothing I can really do,” Teague said.
Deng back in game
Thursday’s win also was a significant one for forward Luol Deng. The Lakers had bought out Deng to pave the way for his signing with Minnesota. Deng played in just one game last season for the Lakers and was at odds with the team regarding his role.
“I try to clear my mind of all that,” Deng said. “What happened, happened. I just wanted the focus on winning.”
Deng has seen his role with the Wolves increase since interim coach Ryan Saunders replaced Tom Thibodeau. Deng has played in five of the past six games after playing in just four games under Thibodeau.
“I came here to play,” Deng said. “I knew that I still could play the game even though the circumstances that what I been through the last couple years, I still knew I could play. I knew what my role was going to be and I accepted it and I wanted to accept the challenge.”