Timberwolves center Nikola Pekovic practiced fully Thursday, the day after he played his first NBA game in nearly 10 months with a 16-minute, 12-point performance in a 78-74 home loss to Denver.
He called himself sore after Wednesday’s game — “That’s normal,” he said — and wanted to see how he felt Thursday morning.
After Thursday’s practice, he said he felt “fantastic” after a season debut that went better than he expected. He last played a game on March 11 and underwent surgery on his Achilles’ tendon in April.
“He was tired, he hadn’t played in almost a year,” Wolves interim coach Sam Mitchell said. “Considering that fact, I thought he did well.”
Over his thumb
Forward Andrew Wiggins’ left, non-shooting hand was taped for Thursday’s practice after he jammed his thumb against the Nuggets.
He practiced normally and said he’d be fine for Friday’s game against Cleveland, the team that drafted him No. 1 overall in 2014 and traded him to Minnesota in the Kevin Love deal before he ever played a game.
“It was nothing,” Wiggins said after practice. “Just making sure it was good for practice, so nothing worse happens.”
Never forget …
Wiggins scored 27 points the first time he played the Cavaliers, then went out a month later last season and topped it by scoring a career-high 33 points against them.
Asked if he expects such motivation against the Cavs will continue, he said, “Yeah, for sure. Whenever you play this team, it’s motivation for everybody. You got a former player on each team and it’s one of the bigger trades last season, so I know both teams will be fired up. … There are a lot of factors. I was on that team before. I’m facing Le- Bron [James], Kyrie [Irving], K-Love, a lot of the superstars in the league right now. It’s just competitiveness. I’m a competitive guy.”