Wolves Bounce Back, Rout Bobcats 119-92

Wolves Bounce Back, Rout Bobcats 119-92

By watching Friday night’s Timberwolves and Bobcats game, you’d be hard-pressed to see any lingering effects from Wednesday night’s heartbreaking loss to the Phoenix Suns. The Wolves responded after blowing a fourth quarter leading on Wednesday, by beating the Bobcats 119-92 at the Target Center.

“It was a good win,” Wolves coach Rick Adelman said. “We came out with a lot of energy. Defended better after the first quarter, but as the game went on we were consistent with our effort, consistent with our play.”

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Wolves vs. Bobcats

The Wolves shot well after the first quarter, going 12-of-23. The problem? So did the Bobcats. After starting 2-of-7, the Bobcats closed out the quarter shooting 9-of-15 to trail the Wolves just 29-28. For the second consecutive game, Kevin Martin had a solid first quarter, putting up a game-high 10 points. Nikola Pekovic added eight. Kevin Love had six points and eight rebounds. The Bobcats as a team had just eight rebounds at that point. Former Wolves big man Al Jefferson led Charlotte with eight points.

After having a rough night on Wednesday (6-of-20), Love turned up the heat in the second quarter, scoring eight points to put his total at 14. He finished the half with a double-double, also hauling in 10 rebounds. Martin added five more points in the quarter, but the big story in the quarter was the bench. The Wolves started out the quarter on an 11-2 run — all coming the bench — to put their lead at 40-30. From that point on, the Wolves outscored the Bobcats 28-18, leading 68-48 at the end of the half. The Wolves shot a scorching 58.7 percent from the field and 77.8 percent from the 3-point line. Kemba Walker led Charlotte with 13 points in the quarter. Charlotte’s bench had just six points at the break, while Minnesota’s had 20 — led by J.J. Barea’s seven.

Adelman was happy with how his second unit played together, and thinks it will continue for the season.

"I think that unit fits really well together,” Adelman said.

The second half was really just more of the same as Minnesota built on its lead. It led 95-70 at the end of the third quarter, allowing Adelman to rest some of his starters. The Wolves bench got some time to play in the fourth and held their own, outscoring Charlotte 24-22 in the final period.

“To come out here and beat a team by 20 (or more) is awesome,” Barea said. “So hopefully we can get a run in and win a couple in a row.”

Pekovic led the way for Minnesota with 26 points. Love added 19 points, 14 boards and four assists while shooting a very efficient 6-of-10 from the field. Martin also had 19 points, shooting 9-of-12 from the field. Minnesota’s bench combined for 43 points. Alexey Shved led the way with 11.

Former Timberwolves forward Anthony Tolliver led Charlotte with 21 points off the bench, shooting 8-of-9 and 5-of-5 from the 3-point line. Chris Douglas-Roberts added 16. Walker finished with 15, while Jefferson had just eight in his return to Minnesota.

The Wolves now sit at 18-18 overall and will have the tough task of trying to get over that .500 hump on the road against the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday evening.

Leader of the Pack: Nikola Pekovic

Talk about having yourself a quarter. Pekovic entered the third quarter with 11 points. He exited the quarter with 26. He finished the night going 10-of-14 from the field and 6-of-6 from the free-throw line. He also had six rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Highlight of the Night

With 7:01 left in the first half, Dante Cunningham swatted a Walker layup. The shot stayed in bounce and an off-balanced Barea grabbed it and threw it underhand to a sprinting Shved. Shved threw it down to give the Wolves a 45-34 lead, forcing a Charlotte timeout.

The Numbers Game

  • The Wolves out-rebounded the Bobcats 54 to 33.
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  • Pekovic went over the 20 point mark for the 13th time this season. He did it 20 times last season.

  • With Love’s nine first quarter rebounds, he outrebounded the whole Charlotte team. The Bobcats had eight rebounds in the quarter.

  • Postgame Podcast

    Wolves vs. Bobcats

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  • Minnesota’s 39 second quarter points matched the season high for second quarter points.

  • The Timberwolves had five players with four or more assists tonight. That’s the first time since Feb. 22, 2009 the team has accomplished that.

  • The Wolves had now won a league-leading eight games by 20 or more points this season.

  • Quotable

    “You just got to stay with it. It’s a long season. You’ve got to keep getting better. We’re going to have a chance. You gotta take advantage,” — Wolves guard J.J. Barea on what the team needs to do to put together a run.

    Next Up

    The Timberwolves hit the road on Sunday, facing Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs. The game is slotted for 6 p.m. CST on Fox Sports North and WCCO 830-AM.

    For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Timberwolves and Mark Remme on Twitter, and join the conversation at WolvesNation.com