The Timberwolves ended a two-game losing streak tonight, handling an injury-plagued Laker roster 109-99 at the Target Center.
"Good win to get," Rick Adelman said following tonight's game. "It was tough, they came at us during the second half and we did other things to win the game. It's a win we had to get to start this week"
The Lakers have been dealing with injuries all season, and have now lost 7 games in a row. With the Wolves down Nikola Pekovic, neither team wanted to deal with any more injury concerns. To certain extents, neither team really got their wish.
Between the 38-point first quarter, the 68-point first half, and Kevin Martin's effectiveness from the field, he first half felt in a lot of ways like the first couple weeks of the season. The two Kevin's got off to equally hot starts from the field, shooting a combined 13-25 and attributing for 37 of the team's first 68 points.
The Lakers couldn't mount much of an effort in the half. To go along with the already-existing injuries from before the game, the Lakers lost Jordan Hill (cervical strain, headache) and Jodie Meeks (ankle) in the first half, forcing them to go deeper into their already-shallow bench. Even the Wolves' own Gorgui Dieng had to leave the game due to a facial contusion (Adelman was unsure of his availability for tomorrow in the postgame presser).
The shortened Lakers roster came out with lots of energy to open the second half, cutting the Wolves' lead to single digits at various points throughout. Still, they were never able to sustain a long enough run to put the Wolves in panic mode, with Love and Martin continuing their offensive display into the end of the game.
Injuries continued into the second half, but not until late in the fourth quarter, when Kevin Love went down hard on a Robert Sacre foul. In-person, it sounded awful, but Love played through it, and ended up with 31 points and 17 boards on the night, giving him his 25th career 30 and 15 game of his career - a new Wolves record.
Love described the play in the locker room after the game:
"Probably the hip and then I got real bad whiplash. Felt like my head snapped back pretty good and hit the floor," he said. "More than anything, what worried me the most was Gregg Farnam was two inches from my face. I feel bad for his wife."
Martin and Love were tonight's top scorers, and with that came quite a few minutes (over 40 each). With a game on the road tomorrow, Adelman didn't seem too worried about fatigue.
"Forty minutes really isn't that much," he said. "We are going to need some guys for tomorrow is what's going to happen. If you start subbing counting on 4 games on 5 nights and you let a game like this slip away."
The Wolves will try to reclaim a winning record tomorrow night on the road against Oklahoma City. While the Wolves will be traveling and playing the second half of a back-to-back, the Thunder haven't played since Monday, when they beat the streaking Grizzlies 86-77 in OKC. Oh, Kevin Durant plays for them, too. So there's that.