The Minnesota Timberwolves have now won their 30th game of the season thanks in large part to Ricky Rubio's career-high 24 points.
The Wolves are now 30-50 on the year and 20-20 at home. If they get a win over the Jazz on Monday, they'll finish the season with a winning record at home for the first time since the 2005-06 season.
As I've done the last number of games, tonight's gameday recap is a Game Log. Enjoy!
-No Nikola Pekovic in this one as he’s now missed two consecutive games with a quad contusion. Dante Cunningham getting the start at center—matches up better with Scola at center and Stiemsma can matchup with Jermaine O’Neal when they come off the bench.
-Wes Johnson feeling it early, he’s now 3-3 from the field and has 7 points, with four minutes gone.
-TWolves started strong, but now have had consecutive possessions end in turnovers.
-TWolves down 7, 12-19 w/4:30 to play.
-Ridnour with consecutive misses on consecutive possessions, fortunately the Suns haven't been able to capitalize on those misses.
-Johnson continues to play well as he knocks down a deep jumper, now with 9 points in 9 minutes on 4-5 FG. Wes knocking down his shots, just like he's always done...*sarcasm*
-TWolves staying active and getting open looks, just can't bury the shots. Then they're letting the Suns get out on the break for transition buckets, you let them do that, it's going to be a LONG night.
-TWolves down 20-24 after Budinger steps to the line for two freebies. Wolves rolling with Rubio, Shved, Budinger, Kirilenko & Cunningham against Dragic, Dudley, Johnson, Scola & Tucker.
-TWolves end first quarter, trailing Suns 22-28. Wes end the quarter, leading the Suns with 11 points on 5-6 shooting. Ricky leads the Wolves with his 8 points, 4 assists & 3 steals, also adding 2 rebounds.
-7'2" Hamed Haddadi in to start the second quarter, he'll match up with Stiemsma, Wolves also going with Williams, Budinger, Shved & Barea. Suns have Dragic, Dudley, Johnson & one of the Morris brothers (no I don't know which one).
-Will Haddadi dominate Stiemsma like Al Jefferson did last night?...probably... :)
-Stiemsma gets the charge call against Haddadi & then pokes the ball away from him on
the next possession.
-#11 is Markieff Morris who starts at power forward and his brother Marcus wears #15. So it was Marcus on the floor, earlier.
-TWolves down 31-35 after Markieff Morris steps to the line and hits a 1 of 2, 7:58 to play in the half.
-Adelman continues to shuffle the lineups and gets fresh players continually in. Understandable considering the Wolves are playing in a back-to-back and the fourth game in the last five days, also the second of four games in five nights sets in the last two-and-a-half weeks.
-TWolves continue to move the ball VERY well, but continue to miss wide open shots. Now missed 6-straight field goal attempts. Then, Barea finds himself open for a three that he buries to end that on the next possession, Wolves down 34-38, 5:40 to play.
-Scola heads to the line for a pair after getting hammered in the paint by Stiemsma on a drive to the lane. He hits both and it's now 40-44 Suns with 3:10 to play. Kirilenko, Rubio & Ridnour check in for Budinger, Shved & Barea.
-As we head to a timeout, Markieff Morris & Greg Stiemsma exchanging some words, refs get in between them as we head to commercials. Was because Stiemsma was physically bodying up Dragic. Just a dumb confrontation.
-Rubio with consecutive buckets and gets the and-one for five straight points as the Wolves now down 46-47 w/1:55 to play in the half. Then Dudley nails a three on the other end to push the lead back to 4.
-TWolves getting out on the break now as they execute on two Phoenix turnovers to tie the game at 50. Then Markieff Morris hits a three to push the lead to 3 w/under 30 seconds to go.
-Suns have the ball on the final possession, but Scola misses the mid-range jumper. After two quarters, the Wolves down 50-53.
-Rubio the only Wolf in double digits with 13 to go along with 4 rebounds, 6 assists & 3stls. Kirilenko also w/8pts & J.J./Dante each with 7pts apiece.
-Phoenix with three players in double digits...
-Scola: 12pts, 8reb, 1ast, 2stls, 1blk, but does have 6 turnovers!
-Wes: 11pts, 1reb, 1ast
-Markieff: 10pts, 4reb, 1ast, 2stls
-Goran Dragic has just 4pts on 1-5 FG, but does have a game-high 9 assists!
-The Wolves shooting 42.6% from the field, 37.5% from deep and 77.8% from the line. The Suns are shooting 55.6% from the field, 45.5% from deep and 66.7% from the line. The Suns are also out-rebounding the Wolves 24-15, however the Wolves are staying in this one by forcing the Suns into 14 first half turnovers and getting out on the break for 15 transition points (to PHX's 9).
-Wolves need to do a better job on the boards, continue to force turnovers and start running the Suns off the three-point line as they've gone 5-for-11 in the first half.
-Just 10 seconds into quarter #3 and Wes Johnson picks up his third personal foul.
-TWolves hanging around that down 3-5 mark. Just can't pull even/ahead in this one.
-TWolves finally string together some consecutive buckets to give Minnesota a 60-59 lead with 7:19 to play, forcing Lindsey Hunter into a timeout.
-Neither team can seem to take care of the ball as it's one turnover after another for both squads!
-Shortly after Wolves take that one-point lead, the Suns answer with five straight points and are back to building that lead.
-No back down from the Wolves though, as they answer with a 4-0 run of their own to knot it back up at 64 following a behind the back to D-Williams.
-TWolves continue to force turnovers as the Suns are now up over 20 turnovers in the third quarter, 2:40 to play in the third!
-Wolves lead 70-68 w/2:37 to play as the Suns whistle a timeout.
-Barea & Cunningham into the ballgame for Rubio & Williams for the final 1:45 of this one.
-Cunningham gets involved quick as he hits a running floater through contact to put the Wolves up 4, 74-70.
-Ridnour hits consecutive shots and the Wolves are on an 11-2 run as the quarter winds down.
-Tucker responds with a three-pointer on the other end, now 77-73 w/20 seconds to play.
-The Wolves end the quarter up 4, 77-73.
-Wolves start the final quarter with Barea, Ridnour, Budinger, Cunningham & Stiemsma. Matching up with Dragic, Marshall, Dudley, Marcus Morris & Haddadi.
-Barea heating up now as he hits down consecutive buckets, Wolves lead up to 8, 84-76 with 10:02 to play.
-The Suns average 15.5 turnovers a game, but they're now up to 23 with 10 minutes to go, they may be shooting in the high 50's, but that's because they continue to hand the ball over to the Wolves.
-Looks like Barea's putting together "one of his" fourth quarters as he drives to the rack for a reverse layup, then follows that up with a mid-range jumper. Definitely trying to will the Wolves to this W.
-Rubio checks in for Ridnour and he'll run with Barea, Kirilenko, Stiemsma & Cunningham.
-Jared Dudley doing his best to keep his team in this game, posting up, hitting deep shots and getting to the line. His Suns mates don't seem to be on the same page, however as they just continue to turn the ball over.
-Dudley carrying his team offensively, but the Suns are struggling to find stops on D as the Wolves lead 94-86 w/5:39 to play.
-Suns go on a short little run that cuts the TWolves lead to 94-88, forces Adelman into a timeout w/4:20 to play.
-The Wolves have now been forced into four straight turnovers!
-Ricky staying aggressive and getting to the rim, he gets the foul call and knocks down a pair to make it an 8-point game w/3:50 to play.
-Cunningham very active on the boards as he's getting to a number of those loose balls--those 50-50 balls.
-TWolves lead by 10, 98-88 w/2:26 to play. The Suns will have time for one last push to get back into this one, we'll see what they do out of this timeout...
-Ricky hits a three and he's now up to 22 on the night, one off of tying his season-high.
-This one is over as the Wolves lead 101-91 with under 1:30 to play.
-And it's a final, Wolves win 105-93.
Ricky Rubio finished with a career-high 24 points and attempted a career-high 18 field goals. He also added to that 5 boards, 10 dimes and 5 takeaways en-route to yet another great all-around game.
Without Nikola Pekovic, the Wolves needed others to step up, they had their entire starting lineup finish in double figures as well as J.J. off the bench. The entire starting lineup also finished with at least 2 steals apiece. Derrick Williams set a new career-high with his 4 steals--and did so in just 23 minutes!
The Wolves as a team finished with a season-high 17 steals and forced a season-high 28 turnovers. The Wolves also did a good job of keeping the Suns off the offensive glass as they allowed just five which is ties the second-lowest total for a TWolves opponent this season.
Just two games left this season! It's the Jazz on Monday and the Spurs on Wednesday then it's no Timberwolves basketball till Summer League! Stay tuned for the final two preview & recaps, thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!