Wolves Suffer Loss To Nuggets
Nuggets 113 (30-21) - Timberwolves 100 (11-39) | Target Center
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How it happened:
With eight minutes remaining in tonight's contest, Minnesota only faced a 91-89 deficit against the league's most potent offensive squad. Denver leaned on its big guns down the stretch, riding Carmelo Anthony, J.R. Smith, and Chauncey Billups during a crucial 22-11 run to close out the game. The Wolves suffered their third straight loss in the 113-100 defeat despite all five starters reaching double figures in points and only committing eight turnovers.
Minnesota entered the home game shorthanded as Luke Ridnour and Wayne Ellington could not suit up due to personal reasons. Martell Webster was also sidelined with back spasms, leaving the Wolves thin at the wing position.
Both teams faced a back-to-back challenge tonight but Denver found its offensive rhythm after a poor first quarter, only shooting 36.4 percent from the floor. The Nuggets finished with an impressive 54.4 percept clip while Carmelo Anthony dropped a game-high 25 points and helped Denver improve to 30-21 on the season.
"Late in the ball game, I thought we took way to many outside shots. We were getting some advantages inside and I kept encouraging our guys to look inside for advantages. Even in switching situations we didn't take advantage of our match-up advantages inside." -- head coach Kurt Rambis
Leader of the Pack:
One night after receiving the All-Star nod, Kevin Love backed up his selection with 18 points and 19 boards. The Wolves power forward claimed his 36th straight double-double, just one shy of Kevin Garnett's franchise record of 37.
In addition to chasing Anthony and Smith all around the court, Corey Brewer was effective on the offensive end of the floor by hitting 6-of-10 field goals and 2-for-2 behind the arc. His 15 points in 26 minutes were a shade of last year's type of output that had the former Gator in the mix for Most Improved Player.
Highlight to Remember:
About four minutes into the third quarter, Al Harrington raced out in the open floor for what appeared to be an easy bucket in transition. Brewer quickly reacted and chased down Harrington for a highlight block, pinning the ball on the glass and then forcing the Nuggets forward into an offensive foul.
Wes Johnson scored seven of his 10 points in the first half and grabbed four rebounds in the loss. The rookie has registered double figures in six of his last seven games.
The Wolves hit the practice floor tomorrow afternoon before boarding a flight to New Orleans. Tonight, the Hornets suffered a 101-95 loss to the Lakers and are playing without Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor in the lineup.
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