Wolves Fall To Nuggets, 117-110

Wolves Fall To Nuggets, 117-110

After losing four of their last five games, it was pretty important for the Minnesota Timberwolves to get a win, especially against a team that also expects to be in the Western Conference playoff hunt.

The Wolves weren’t able to do that and moved to under .500 for the first time all season, mostly because of allowing the Denver Nuggets to have a big second quarter.

Box Scores and GalleryBox Score Gallery

Wolves vs. Nuggets

“Just really disappointed with our effort, the first half especially. Defensively we allowed them to do whatever they wanted to do,” said Wolves coach Rick Adelman. “… We’ve got to figure out what we’re going to do at this point forward.”

Minnesota trailed by 15 at one point and it looked like a Kevin Love 3-pointer that put the Wolves within one, trailing 103-102 with 3:57 left, could give the Wolves momentum. The game went back in forth in the final three minutes, but Minnesota wasn’t able to take a lead and Denver won 117-110. The fact that Minnesota battled back into the game, though, was surprising, being down by as many as 15 points.

The Wolves led 23-18 in the first, but then Denver went on a 10-0 run. Thanks to baskets by J.J. Barea and Love, the Wolves were able to cut that deficit to 28-7 after the first. Kevin Martin led Minnesota scorers with eight points, while Love added seven. Ty Lawson led Denver with nine and Wilson Chandler scored eight.

The second quarter, though, was not one to remember for the Wolves. Led by 13 points from Nate Robinson in the quarter, the Nuggets jumped out to a 64-55 lead at halftime. The intensity wasn’t there for Minnesota and Adelman picked up on that early, as he subbed in Alexey Shved and Shabazz Muhammad in the second quarter.

Martin led Minnesota with 17 points, while going 9-of-9 from the free-throw line. Pekovic added 14 points and seven rebounds. Robinson and Lawson each had 13 points, while Chandler added 10.

The Wolves shot 41.4 percent from the field compared to Denver’s mark of 63.4 percent.

Minnesota showed some signs of life in the third quarter. The Wolves were within striking distance at 81-78 with 3:26 left in the third, but the Nuggets again stretched out the lead to 90-83, despite Rubio’s 11 points in the quarter.

The life was shown again in the fourth as the Wolves managed to claw back to 103-99 after a Martin layup with 4:28 left in the game. Just two possessions later, Love nailed the three to make it a one-point game. The Nuggets jumped ahead by seven again, but again, the Wolves managed to fight back and made it a 111-108 after a Corey Brewer dunk with one minute left. In then turned into a free-throw game, and Denver closed it out with a 117-110 win.

“I don’t even think it’s execution,” Adelman said on whether or not his team wasn’t executing properly after the game. “I think it’s a desire to go out… The guys off the bench, same thing. They came in and it’s like they weren’t ready when they came in the game. And I talked before the game about trying to find some solution off the bench and it wasn’t there tonight so we’ve got to figure it out and it gets tougher now and we’ll see what we’re made of.”

Martin led all scorers with 29 points. Pekovic added 21 points and 10 rebounds. Fellow post Love had 19 points and 15 rebounds. Rubio was the third member of the double-double club, finishing with 17 points and 11 assists. He also had seven turnovers as well. Against his former team, Brewer had 14 points. The Wolves shot just 25 percent from the 3-point line.

The Nuggets were led by Lawson who finished with 23 points. Robinson added 14, while Chandler had 14. The Nuggets shot 51.1 percent from the field and 50 percent from the 3-point line.

The Wolves will likely practice on Friday this week before heading to play Dallas on Friday.

Leader of the Pack: Kevin Martin

Martin led all scorers with 29 points to go along with five rebounds. He did most of his damage from the free-throw line, going 11-for-11. Martin had his off-balanced shot on, and that was a big part why the Wolves stuck in the game late. It was Martin’s 11th 20+ point game of the season.

Highlight of the Night

The Wolves displayed their new alternate jerseys, which had sleeves on them. Click here to check out the new uniforms. It was the first time the Wolves wore jerseys with sleeves in franchise history. The Wolves will wear the jersey nine more times this season. The reviews have been positive as USA Today Sports wrote that the jerseys were the best sleeved alternates yet.

The Numbers Game

  • At half, Denver point guards were a combined 13-of-16 for 32 points.

  • By going 11-for-11 at the free-throw line, Martin has made 29 consecutive free throws dating back to the Nov. 19 game against Washington.

  • With 19 points and 15 rebounds, Love finished with his 16th double-double of the season and his eighth straight.

  • Denver’s bench outscored Minnesota’s second unit 41-10.

  • Postgame Podcast

    with John Focke

    You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialize correctly.

    Quote of the Night

    “I know I’ve been in good teams, you’re bench gotta be awesome. And this team, right now we really don’t have a bench… If we don’t do something about it, it’s going to be, it’s going to be a tough time to win some games.” - Wolves guard J.J. Barea on the team’s second unit that scored just 10 points tonight.

    Looking Ahead

    The Wolves will get a rare three-day break. On Saturday, they travel to play the Dallas Mavericks at 7:30 p.m. The game will air on Fox Sports North and WCCO 830-AM. The very next next night, Minnesota visits Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder. That game will start at 6 p.m. It will also be aired 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