GameDay Live Blog: Wolves vs. Celtics | Nov. 16, 2013

GameDay Live Blog: Wolves vs. Celitcs | Nov. 16, 2013



Final: Ballgame. The Wolves win 106-88 tonight at Target Center. Love with 23 points and 12 boards, Pek with 20 points and 12 boards, Martin with 20 points and six boards, and Ricky with three points, seven assists and six boards. Barea with 13 and DC with 12 off the bench. More to come on Timberwolves.com, so stay tuned all night. MIN 106, BOS 88

Q4 2:57: Nice second half showing here for the Wolves as they bounced back from a tough loss on the road last night to take an 18-point lead into the final three minutes of the game. The big area here tonight was in the paint. Minnesota owns a 50-26 points in the paint advantage here, which is really paying dividends. The Wolves are over 100 for the game, so if they hold on to win it will be another Cherry Berry day tomorrow for fans who have a Wolves ticket (free yogurt). Can't beat that, right? MIN 101, BOS 83

Q4 5:22: The Wolves are up 18 here with 5:22 to play, and I figured it's a good time to send a few notes your way. First, if the Wolves win they will be 7-4. That would match the second best start in franchise history. They started 7-4 in 2000-01, 8-3 in 1998-99. Also, tonight was Love's 10th double-double and ninth 20/10 game of the season. Not bad through 11 games, huh? Also, with Love's free throw at the 8:54 mark of the third, he passed Christian Laettner (1,463) for third all-time on the franchise's free throw list. Love needed 1,796 attempts compared to Laettner's 1,798. Kevin Garnett (3,727) and Sam Mitchell (1,773) are the only two ahead of Love on the list. MIN 98, BOS 80

Q4 9:26: The Celtics just opened up the fourth on an 8-2 run heading into this first timeout. Minnesota regrouping here and sending Barea, Martin, Hummel, DC and Pek back on the court to try and get back on track. MIN 91, BOS 78

End Q3: The Wolves needed to make a statement after Boston came back in the second quarter to cut Minnesota's 17-point lead to five. And they did just that. After seeing the lead get trimmed to four in the third, Minnesota dominated the final nine minutes of the frame and now have their biggest lead of the night at 19 heading into the fourth. Pek has 20 points and 12 boards, Love has 20 points and 11 boards, Martin has 20 points and six boards, and Ricky has seven assists and five boards to go with three points. DC has 12 off the bench. Boston still rolling through Bradley, who has 25 points. MIN 89, BOS 70

Q3 2:18: Kevin Martin is heating up this quarter, as is the rest of the Wolves' roster. He's got nine in the third and hit his first of the game. Love and Pek are both over the double-double threshold, with Love putting up 20 and 11 while Pek has 19 and 12. Martin has 19 points in 6-of-15 shooting and has four boards. Lots of good efforts on the court right now, too. Off a Brewer missed fast break layup, Dante Cunningham follows it up and puts it back for two. Another key stat: Love, Pek and Martin are a combined 15-for-15 tonight from the line. MIN 83, BOS 66

Q3 7:25: Minnesota watched the Celtics cut the Wolves' lead to four, but Minnesota just went on a 9-0 run to bring this lead back to 13. It was highlighted by Kevin Martin's 3-pointer moments ago. He is now 1-of-6 from beyond the arc. MIN 68, BOS 55

Halftime: The Wolves take a five-point lead into the half after a tough second quarter in which the Celtics carved into Minnesota's once 17-point lead. Love has 12 points and nine boards, Pekovic and Martin each have 10 points and Barea has nine. The Wolves are shooting 42 percent from the field. Meanwhile, Avery Bradley is having himself a nice night. He's 6-of-12 with 13 points and just hit a 3-pointer to cut a little bit further into this lead. The Celtics are shooting 41.2 percent. The Wolves need to find a way to capitalize in transition and start converting their 3-point attempts (4-of-12) in the second half. And making Bradley defer or take contested shots are another important part of Minnesota's second-half game plan. MIN 55, BOS 50

Q2 2:02: Minnesota looking to get going from 3-point range tonight. They are 3-of-11 with makes by Love, Hummel and Barea. Martin is 0-for-4 from distance, so if he is able to get going it will help significantly as the Wolves try to stop the Celtics from trimming further into this lead. It is down to eight at the moment. MIN 50, BOS 42

Q2 3:44: The Wolves pushed their lead up to 17, but Boston trimmed that down to nine before Barea hit a 3-pointer to make it a 12-point game. Barea has nine points off the bench, while Dante Cunningham has six on 3-of-5 shooting and his starting to hit those mid-range jumpers again. Meanwhile, Pek and Martin each have 10. MIN 50, BOS 40

Q2 9:43: Kevin Love just backed down Jared Sullinger and finished with a textbook hook that puts the Wolves up 37-26. He's got seven points and six boards. Also, great energy from J.J. Barea off the bench. Over his last six quarters, he's played the most consistent and effective ball of his season to date. MIN 37, BOS 26

End Q1: After tying the game at 16-16, the Wolves went on a 17-8 run to take a nine-point lead into the second. Kevin Martin is 1-of-5 from the field but is 6-of-6 from the line and leads the team with eight points. Pek has six points and three boards, Love has five points and four boards and Rubio has three points, three assists and three rebounds. For Boston, Bass has eight points and Bradley has six. MIN 33, BOS 24

Q1 2:46: Robbie Hummel is getting some run here in the first quarter with the rest of the starters, and he's making good on his opportunity. He hit his first shot of the night, a 3-pointer at the top of the key that helped put the Wolves up 22-18 early. Also as a side note, the Klondike challenge of the game is a guy eating cold New England Clam Chowder. Hmmm.... MIN 22, BOS 18

Q1 5:36: The Wolves off to a slow start here tonight shooting 4-of-11 right out of the gate. The Celtics opened up 6-of-10 before missing their last four shots, and Minnesota is benefiting from Boston getting into early foul trouble. The Wolves have been to the line four times tonight and are shooting 3-of-4 from the stripe. Avery Bradly already with six for the Celtics, Pek and Martin with four each for the Wolves. BOS 12, MIN 11

Starters:

Wolves:
PG-Ricky Rubio, SG-Kevin Martin, SF-Corey Brewer, PF-Kevin Love, C-Nikola Pekovic

Celtics: PG-Jordan Crawford, SG-Avery Bradley, SF-Jeff Green, PF-Brandon Bass, C-Vitor Faverani

Pregame 6:35 PM: A few tid-bits here as we get set for tonight's opening tipoff. First, we have a special guest in the building tonight as Peter Robert Casey makes his stop in Minneapolis while attending 30 NBA games in 30 days. He is on Day 10 of his journey that began in Miami and will weave back and forth across the country and include a double-header at Staples Center for the Lakers and Clippers. He'll travel 29,000-plus miles during this trip. I'll have a feature coming on Peter Robert Casey early this week.

Now onto basketball. First off, Chase Budinger is back in the building and will continue his rehab here in Minnesota. It's good to see him back in the Twin Cities after rehabbing out of town since his knee surgery prior to Training Camp. Also, Rick Adelman said Nikola Pekovic is fine and will play tonight. Adelman also talked about J.J. Barea's big night last night and how his energy off the bench is needed in order to keep this team running.

“No I just think he got into the open court," Adelman said. "Neither team defended very well. We both had a lot of easy baskets and I think he had an opportunity to take advantage of that.”

Adelman talked about Brad Stevens' start in Boston and how he's handling a lot of turnover well within the organization. It's tough to start over completely in a new situation with really a clean slate of players, but Adelman said he's doing a good job.

“They got off to 0-4 and there’s a lot of stuff going on and he’s able to get them back on track," Adelman said. "They won 4 in a row. They lost a couple now but it takes time, it’s not easy, especially when they remade their team basically, got rid of their stars. He’s got a big job and it looks like he’s handling it pretty well and got the team turned around.”

For Stevens, he said rookie Kelly Olynyk will not start tonight in favor of Vitor Favorani, mostly due to the physicality Pekovic will present. Stevens said the Celtics are in for another big offensive challenge, one night after playing the Trail Blazers.

“They’re great. They’re a really good basketball team," Stevens said. "I think we’ve played two of the more fun teams offensively in a row in Portland and Minnesota. The things that jumps out of the page of both teams is they’re savvy. Those guys know how to play. They’ve really been well coached. They really move that ball. Rubio makes plays that very very few people playing basketball make.”

Pregame 4:45 PM: Welcome back to Target Center, where the Wolves will host the new-look Boston Celtics tonight at 7 p.m. on Fox Sports North and 830 WCCO-AM. This is the first time Minnesota will see the Cs in their own version of the post-Garnett era. Boston comes in with a 4-6 record and holding their opponents to 96.9 points per game, which is good for seventh in the NBA. They are coming off back-to-back losses to Charlotte and Portland after winning four straight. The Celtics opened up the season 0-4 before that stretch.

Minnesota is coming off a tough 117-113 loss in Denver and is looking to bounce back. If they do tonight, it would give Minnesota their first back-to-back wins against Boston since winning on Jan. 30, 2006 and Feb. 11, 2007. After that Feb. 11, 2007 win, Boston rallied off 11 straight victories over the Wolves during the KG-Paul Pierce-Doc Rivers era, which ended on April 1, 2013 at Target Center when Minnesota pulled out a 110-100 victory.

Both teams enter tonight coming off games on Friday, so neither team shot around this morning. As we get set for tonight’s game, here are a few news/notes to keep in mind:

  • The Wolves trail in the all-time series 17-29 and are 9-14 at home. The Wolves' 110-100 win at Target Center on April 1, 2013 snapped an 11-game losing streak against the Celtics.

  • Wolves Notes

  • A win tonight would push the Wolves' record to 7-4 and tie for their second-best start in franchise history (7-4 in 2000-01, 8-3 in 1998-99).

  • Corey Brewer leads the league with 71 fast-break points this year. The next closest player is James Harden with 54.

  • Kevin Love grabbed his 10th rebound late in last night's game in Denver to go along with his game-high 28 points, giving him 9 double-doubles in 10 games this year. Love now has recorded a double-double in 9 straight road games -- the longest active streak in the NBA.

  • Ricky Rubio has a steal in 31 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the NBA, and the 4th longest streak since 2008-09 (Mike Conley 64, Chris Paul 55, Paul 50). He leads the NBA in steals with 3.30 spg.

  • Rubio had 12 assists at Denver, giving him 52 assists over the last four games (13.0 apg). The best four-game run for assists in Wolves history is 55 by Terrell Brandon from April 23-30, 1999. Rubio ranks 2nd in the NBA in assists with 9.9 apg.

  • Kevin Martin has scored 23+ points in a career-high seven consecutive games -- joining Kevin Garnett (12 games). Kevin Love (8) and Al Jefferson (7) and as the only Wolves players to accomplish this feat.

  • Martin has scored 27+ points in his last four games, averaging 29.0 ppg over that span and shooting 39-for-84 (.464) from the field and 12-for-25 (.480) from 3-point range.

  • Kevin Love has now grabbed an offensive rebound in 85 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the NBA and the longest of his career. Nikola Pekovic is right behind Love with an offensive board in 84 consecutive games.

  • Celtics Notes

  • Boston lost its first four games of the season, won its next four and has dropped its last two. The Celtics are 2-3 on the road this year.

  • The Celtics have allowed the second-lowest 3-point field goal percentage in the NBA this season at 30.1% (Golden State 29.2%)

  • Celtics head coach Brad Stevens became the 2nd NBA head coach to lose his first four (or more) games and follow that up with a winning streak to bring his win-loss record back to .500. The other coach to do that was Rick Adelman when he took over as Portland's head coach in Feb. 1989, losing his first four games and winning the next four.

  • Kelly Olynyk ranks 1st among rookies in rebounding with 5.6 rpg and 3rd in scoring at 8.0 ppg. Vitor Faverani is 1st among rookies in blocked shots at 1.40 bpg and 2nd in rebounding with 5.4 rpg.



  • For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Timberwolves and Mark Remme on Twitter.