Wolves Fall Short in Finale
The Minnesota Timberwolves didn’t end the 2013-14 campaign as they would have liked to, as they lost 136-130 in double-overtime to the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night at the Target Center.
You can’t say the effort wasn’t there or entertainment factor wasn’t there, though. Like all season, the game was an interesting one and the Wolves clawed back from a 19-point deficit. Unfortunately for Wolves fans, they were unable to close out the victory.
“Disappointing loss. In the first quarter and even in the third quarter we just came out and didn’t have the energy we needed to have and especially the first quarter,” said Wolves head coach Rick Adelman. “We got down and got back into it… We just got down too far.”
Still, the Wolves won 40 games for the first time in 10 seasons. Wolves head coach Rick Adelman would have liked to see his team get to the .500 mark, though.
Wolves vs. Jazz
“That disappoints me because I really thought we would do it (get to .500),” Adelman said. “… It just didn’t happen.”
The Wolves struggled out of the gates, trailing 31-17. Minnesota was ice cold from the field shooting just 31.6 percent. Utah was the opposite, shooting 53.8 percent led by Derrick Favor’s eight points and five rebounds. Alec Burks, Malcolm Thomas and Richard Jefferson had five points each. Kevin Martin led Minnesota with five points.
On Fan Appreciate Night, the Wolves must have heard the rally cry and went on a 14-0 run to trail just 47-46 with 1:38 left in the first half. The ended the half trailing 51-48. Center Ronny Turiaf was a big part of that, having a bench-high eight points and six rebounds. Kevin Love added nine points, as did Martin. Favors continued to lead Utah with 12 points and five rebounds.
Utah pulled away in the third, outscoring the Wolves 29-22, but behind a huge second-half performance from Martin, the Wolves were able to force overtime, outscoring the Jazz 37-27 in the fourth quarter.
The teams tied the first overtime at 12, before the Wolves fell six behind and ultimately lost in the second overtime.
Martin led all scorers with 36 points, shooting 12-of-24 from the field. Love added 19 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. Ricky Rubio scored 14 points and dished out six assists. Dante Cunningham had a bench-high 13 points, while Turiaf added 12 points and eight rebounds. Alexey Shved and Corey Brewer finished with 11 points each. Robbie Hummel had 10 points and was just one rebound short of a double-double.
Trey Burke led Utah with 32 points. Gordon Hayward, like Love, was just one assist shy of a triple-double. He finished with 23 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. Favors added 21 points and 12 rebounds. Jeremy Evans finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Alec Burks and Richard Jefferson scored 11 points each.
Minnesota has ended the season with a 40-42 overall record, finishing tenth in the Western Conference.
Leader of the Pack: Kevin Martin
Martin almost single-handedly kept the Wolves in this game, erupting for 36 points. He made a game-high 12 field goals and three 3-pointers. He was spectacular from the free-throw line as well, shooting 9-of-10. He also added two steals, two rebounds and one assist.
“Yeah, Kevin really got it going, started making shots, got really aggressive,” Adelman said. “Kind of turned the thing around for us.”
Don’t Blink Highlight of the Night
With 7:40 left in the first quarter, Tricky Ricky Rubio made a behind-the-back pass to rookie Gorgui Dieng for the slam. It was Rubio’s first assists of the game and Dieng’s third point. It put the Wolves within two points.
The Numbers Game
Kevin Love is now the first player in NBA history to have 2,000 points, 900 rebounds and 100 3-pointers in a single season.
Love is also the first player since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bob McAdoo in 1975,76 to average 26+ points, 12+ rebounds and 4+ assists per game over a season.
Wolves vs. Jazz
Gorgui Dieng blocked to shots tonight. It’s his fifth straight game with multiple blocks, matching Ronny Turiaf’s’ streak of five straight from Feb. 1-8 for the longest such streak of the season by a Wolves player.
“I can’t comment on that. I don’t have your money.” – Wolves coach Rick Adelman responding to Star Tribune columnist Sid Hartman after being asked about calls in the game.